Lavrov's Visit to Serbia has been Canceled due to the Actions of Bulgaria and NATO Members
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's visit to Serbia, scheduled for June 6th and 7th, has been canceled due to the refusal of Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro to open their airspace to the Russian diplomat's plane, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Bulgaria, the Republic of North Macedonia and Montenegro have refused to allow access to their airspace on a plane with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who was due to pay a two-day visit to Belgrade on June 6th and 7th. This was confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia to the Interfax news agency. Lavrov was to meet in Belgrade with the president, prime minister, speaker of parliament and Serbian patriarch.
Moscow commented on the refusal of the three countries to allow the plane through its airspace jokingly: "our diplomacy has not yet mastered the ability to teleport."
Speaking to Italian television channel La7, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that "EU member states and NATO have closed the airspace, closing another communication channel".
The Serbian president's office declined to comment. Vucic is scheduled to meet with Russia's ambassador to Belgrade today.
Earlier, the Russian ambassador in Sofia Eleonora Mitrofanova confirmed to TASS that the Bulgarian authorities did not allow the plane with Lavrov to fly over Bulgaria. The Serbian newspapers Vecernje Novosti and Danas were the first to release information about the refusal from Sofia, Skopje and Podgorica.
The state-run RTS television only notes that Lavrov's visit is uncertain and that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will address his compatriots tomorrow night.
The European Union has banned Russian airlines from flying over member states in late February, days after the Russian attack on Ukraine.
As a follow-up of this decision, the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin threatened Bulgaria with a nuclear missile
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