It has cost Serbia a lot to defy the West’s push to impose sanctions on Russia over its military operation in Ukraine, President Aleksandar Vucic said on Sunday.
He believes he would be celebrated by the West and hailed as a hero had Belgrade backed the economic restrictions against Moscow.
“It costs us a lot not to have imposed sanctions on Russia. But if we imposed them, it would cost us our principle of not supporting sanctions against anyone, because we know from our own experience that sanctions are immoral and inefficient,” Vucic told Pink TV.
“They’re saying that I’m a traitor. A traitor? The only one in Europe who hasn’t imposed sanctions on Russia, and from such a small country. Call me whatever you want, but the people have shown what they think [during the election].”
Vucic was re-elected with 58% of the vote earlier this month. He repeatedly said that Belgrade has been under serious pressure and “blackmailing” to join in on the restrictions placed on Russia after it launched a large-scale offensive against Ukraine in late February.