Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said that his country has been pressured under the threat of sanctions to back Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council.
Belgrade has close historical ties with Moscow but joined other Western nations this week in a vote against Russia in response to its ongoing military campaign in Ukraine. “Our initial decision was to abstain, but then we were subjected to countless and difficult pressure,” Vucic told RTS TV on Thursday.
“They said – do you know that a decision is being made whether Serbia will be exempted from the package of sanctions on [Russian] oil, and whether it will be able to import oil after May 15?” the president said. He compared the possible effect of sanctions on Serbia to “a nuclear strike.”
Unlike the EU, Serbia has not imposed any sanctions on Moscow. “The Republic of Serbia believes that it’s not in its vital political and economic interests to impose sanctions on any country,” Vucic said, while stressing that he wants to maintain good relations with the European bloc, as well as with Russia.