Serbian president, Aleksandar Vučić, has praised his policy of maintaining close ties with Russia and China, and not succumbing to the EU’s and US’s objection to those ties.
He made the statement at the EU-Western Balkans summit in Slovenia on Wednesday, the Guardian reported, shortly after the European leaders warned the Balkan states to refrain from criticizing the European Union in public on unfounded claims.
“Residents of Serbia are rational, they want to be a part of the world, a part of the European Union, but Serbian residents do not want to spoil relations with Russia and China, and this proved to be the right thing to do,” Vučić told journalists on Wednesday in Slovenia.
“Why is it the right thing to do? If we had succumbed to pressure of foreign countries objecting [to] the construction of the Russian pipeline we would have had problems this winter, with no more gas for Serbia coming via Beregovo.”
Vučić lauded Russian president Vladimir Putin as the “kingmaker” amidst an energy crisis in Europe that would save Serbia this winter.
“They [European countries] have run out of their supplies, and did not sign long-term purchase deals with the Russians, and now Putin is the absolute ‘kingmaker’, with the possibility to decide who [will buy] at what price, and how a price should be raised,” he stated.
The praise came as the European leaders called on the Western Balkan countries to acknowledge in public the EU’s support. “The EU is by far the region’s closest partner, main investor and principal donor. The unprecedented scale and range of this support must be fully recognised and conveyed by the partners in their public debate and communication.”
Vučić, the former minister of information in the genocidal regime of Slobodan Milosevic, has repeatedly slammed the European Union over alleged lack of support and lauded Russia and China ties.