Is Serbia finally turning towards Russia?

First lady of Ukraine Olena Selenska Sunday evening is with the Foreign Minister Dimitro Drunk Arrived in Belgrade. It is the first time a high-ranking politician from Ukraine has visited Serbia since the Russian invasion began in late February 2022.

Many explain the visit of the wife of the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Selensky and his foreign minister to signal the Serbian government’s withdrawal from its eternal ally Russia.

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He wrote that the first day of the trip was devoted to cultural diplomacy Selenska In Telegram. On stage X, he shared photos with Serbian First Lady Tamara Vucic, Kuleba and her counterpart Marko Djuric. In the city library he opened a “Ukrainian shelf” with Ukrainian language books. He did the same at Kalemegdon Castle with an audio guide in Ukrainian. It is about projects that aim to create “a deeper mutual understanding of society and the history of our people”. Selenska in X

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All major Russian media reported on the Ukrainian duo’s visit to Serbia. On the portal of the Russian State News Agency Rhea Novosti The article about it ended up being the most read of the day. Judging by the comments, the Russians are not happy.

“Shame” or “this is disgusting, this is disgusting behavior of a ‘friend’ of Russia” – these are the two most popular comments in the article. Rhea Novosti. Most readers accuse Serbia of betraying Russia (“a slap in the face to Russia”) and go with the Serbian president. Alexander Vucic Hard on the court. “Usik, are you really spineless?” asks a reader.

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But not only criticism of the Serbian government, but also of its own government is expressed in comments:

  • “Does anyone but Lukashenko fear us? Even Kyrgyzstan has done a U-turn. Our foreign policy is a bit weak” or
  • “Who are our more ‘friends’? The Papuans from Polynesia? Or North Korea?”

Yet another reader says: “Russia never had friends. Only enemies.” Another sees it the same way: “No friends, you can’t trust anyone.”

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Serbia has condemned the Russian invasion but rejected sanctions

Pro-Russian sentiment is widespread in Serbia due to traditional historical, religious, political and military ties. President Vučić has always wanted EU membership and strives to maintain a balance between relations with Russia and China, key partners and investors.

On the one hand, since the beginning of the invasion, Head of State Vučić has met Ukrainian President Zelenskiy three times in international forums abroad – most recently at a regional meeting in Tirana in February. Since 2022, Serbia has welcomed thousands of Ukrainian refugees, sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine and pledged to assist the country in demining and post-war reconstruction. Also, secret documents leaked from the Pentagon last year showed that Serbia had agreed to supply arms and ammunition to Kiev.

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