European Western Balkans

Vulin resigns as Serbian security chief 3 months after US sanctions

Aleksandar Vulin; Photo: Ministry of Interior of Serbia

BELGRADE – The Director of the Security and Intelligence Agency of Serbia (BIA), Aleksandar Vulin, announced on Friday that he is submitting resignation from his position. He stated that the “United States and the European Union are seeking his resignation as a precondition for not imposing sanctions on Serbia”.

“We are being asked to recognise Kosovo, abandon the Republic of Srpska, and by imposing sanctions on the Russian Federation, cease to be a sovereign country and nation”, Vulin said.

He added that his resignation will not change the policy of the United States and the EU towards Serbia, but it will slow down new demands and pressures.

“They did not achieve sanctions against Russia, they did not achieve Serbian recognition of Kosovo, but they did get one Serbian head. I refuse to become a part of any anti-Russian and anti-Serbian hysteria due to any position, to stop caring about the Republic of Srpska and its survival, and to stop believing in the inevitability of the unification of Serbs and the creation of the Serbian world. I refuse to give up the policy of military neutrality and brotherhood with Russia and China,” said Vulin.

Aleksandar Vulin submitted his resignation at the beginning of the election campaign for the parliamentary elections scheduled for December 17 in Serbia. Vulin’s resignation was among the demands of the “Serbia against Violence” protests that have been ongoing for 26 weeks in Serbia.

In July, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned Aleksandar Vulin, current director of the Serbian Security Intelligence Agency and former Minister of Interior and Defense. Vulin’s acts have advanced corruption within Serbia’s governing institutions and include involvement in a drug trafficking ring.

Vulin’s name is also publicly associated with the “Jovanjica” scandal. After the owner of this plantation, Predrag Koluvija, was arrested in 2019 and then, together with his associates, officially charged in 2021 for the unauthorized production and release of 1.6 tons of the cannabis on the Jovanjica property, a video from 2015 resurfaced in which Vulin, as Minister of Labour, visits Jovanjica and picks vegetables there for the purpose of promoting employment in agriculture.

It was later established that Koluvija had the help of members of the security services of the Republic of Serbia in the production and trafficking of drugs, against whom court proceedings were also initiated. Among them were members of the Military Intelligence Agency, which is part of the Ministry of Defense, headed by Vulin at the time, who denied involvement in this case. He stated in 2021 that the Jovanjica case had nothing to do with Predrag Kolujvija, but that the goal of that case was to arrest the brother of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Andrej Vučić, whose name was linked to Kolujvija’s (and who was not officially suspected of any wrongdoing) – so that the president would resign.

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