From: Exit Staff
Lavrov ‘Cancels’ Serbia Visit Planned Despite Flight Sanctions

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov has announced that he has canceled a visit to Belgrade planned to take place on June 6-7.

Lavrov had apparently planned to fly to Belgrade despite flight bans on Russian planes and on his person as part of EU sanctions from February, which have also been joined by Serbia’s neighbors.

The negative response by Serbia’s neighboring countries, who cited sanctions imposed on Russia since February as the reason to prevent Lavrov’s plane from crossing their airspace, was called “unprecedented” by the Kremlin.

On Monday, Lavrov held a press conference to denounce Bulgaria, Montenegro and North Macedonia for not allowing him to fly over their territories, although such a decision has been effective for months now.

The top diplomat vowed that Serbia-Russia ties won’t be affected negatively by these events.

Serbia is the only country in the region to refuse imposing sanctions on Russia.

In a slap on the face of the EU and US face following pressure on Serbia to align its foreign policy with the EU, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic signed a new contract of provision of gas from Russia last week. Vucic has successfully dodged lenient calls by the EU to impose sanctions on Russia since 2014.

Lavrov’s visit was planned in preparation for a Vucic-Putin meeting.

Vucic said he had been informed by the Russian ambassador on the alleged cancellation of the visit and announced he would comment on the issue this evening.

Minister of Interior Aleksandar Vulin lamented the state of the diplomatic world today – “A world in which diplomats can not achieve peace is a world in which there is no peace. Those who prevented the arrival of Sergei Lavrov do not want peace, they dream of defeating Russia,” he stated.

“Serbia is proud that it is not part of the anti-Russian hysteria, while countries that are part of [such histeria] will have time to be ashamed,” Vulin added.

Belgrade is the only capital in the would to have held multiple rallies in support of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.