Many eyebrows were raised when Ukrainian Ambassador to Serbia, Oleksandr Aleksandrovych, said in his interview for Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) that Moscow is using Serbia to “destabilise the Balkans” and “destroy Europe”. This is not the first time that the Ukrainian Ambassador warns Serbia about Russian intentions.
He specified that examples of destabilising actions are when “Russia trains Serbian mercenaries to kill Ukrainians” or when “Russia used Serbian extremists to try to overthrow the Government of Montenegro”. Another action that Aleksandrovych underlines is that “Russia encourages Serbian separatists in Republika Srpska to destabilise Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
In his lengthy list of charges against Russian actions, Ukrainian Ambassador announced that “Russia uses Serbian factor to destabilize Macedonia”, but also that Russia plays an active role in confronting Kosovo Serbs against Kosovo Albanians.
Besides, “Russia sells its aircrafts to Serbia in order to create tension in relations between Serbia and Croatia,” said Ambassador. This is one among many reasons why some officials from the Western countries have warned Serbia about potential risks in regard to closer ties with Moscow.
The official reactions from the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs came out when State Secretary Novica Tončev announced that “the fact that Serbia has balanced and consistent foreign policy that gives serious results in improvement of Serbian position in international community obviously is not suitable for everyone.”
According to him, the main role of an ambassador in one country is to work on the improvement of political and economic bilateral relations.
On the other hand, Ambassador of Ukraine to Serbia expressed his worries that “the Russian President is only using Serbia as an instrument to destroy Europe and he does not care about Serbia.”
Furthermore, he stressed out that “allowing Russia to use you (Serbs) for destroying Europe does not make sense, because you would like to go there to study or to work.” “Is that what Serbian citizens want?”, asked Aleksandrovych in his interview for BIRN. According to him, that is the reason why Western officials demand from Serbia not to sit on two chairs, probably having in mind the recent statement made by Hoyt Brian Yee.
State Secretary Tončev said that “all activities made by Ukrainian Ambassador in Serbia are in purpose of violation of relations between Serbia and Russia.”
“Ambassador has announced many non – confirmed claims about Serbian factor trying to destabilise Macedonia or making tensions in relations with Croatia, but also about Serbian extremists in their attempt to overthrow the Government of Montenegro,” said Tončev.
Publication of this article has been supported by the Balkan Trust for Democracy of the German Marshall Fund of the United States