Belgrade Accuses Russia of Attempting to Recruit Serbian Mercenaries
Serbian President Denies Allegations of Wagner Group Involvement in Kosovo Serb Road Blockade
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has refuted allegations of the Wagner paramilitary group’s involvement in the Kosovo Serb road blockade in northern Kosovo during December 2020. He addressed the question during an interview with Happy TV broadcasted on January 17, 2023.
Vucic voiced disapproval over the advertisement recently broadcast by Wagner on the Russian state broadcaster RT to recruit mercenaries in Serbia. He referred to this as “unfair on the part of Russian friends”. Vucic contended that Serbia has not joined the sanctions imposed on Russia, its traditional ally. Furthermore, Serbia, a candidate for membership in the European Union has welcomed thousands of Russians since the aggression began. Serbian law meanwhile prohibits its citizens from participating in armed conflicts in other countries.
Vucic noted the European Union & the United States have called on Serbia to join the sanctions against the Kremlin. Serbia is the only European country that has not yet done so. He further stressed his nation has been a traditional ally of Russia which defends its interests in international forums in relation to the non-recognition of its former province of Kosovo. Serbia is almost completely dependent on Russian gas supplies, although is seeking to diversify its energy sources.
Many Serbs view Russia sympathetically and as protector of Serbian interests. Vucic has stated Serbia will continue to not comply with the sanctions imposed on Russia.