Serbia Expresses Solidarity with Ukraine but Remains Neutral on Russian Sanctions

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | May 13, 2024, Monday // 18:05
Bulgaria: Serbia Expresses Solidarity with Ukraine but Remains Neutral on Russian Sanctions

Serbian Prime Minister Milos Vucevic expressed solidarity with Ukraine during talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Belgrade. However, he did not indicate Serbia's willingness to support sanctions against Russia, as reported by "Reuters."

Vucevic emphasized that Belgrade remains committed to upholding international law and respecting Ukraine's territorial integrity. He reiterated Serbia's stance on engaging in friendly discussions across various levels and topics.

Belgrade's recognition of Ukraine encompasses all its territories, including those currently occupied by Russian forces. In contrast, Kyiv has not acknowledged Kosovo's independence, declared from Serbia in 2008. Since 2022, Serbia has provided refuge to Ukrainian citizens, dispatched humanitarian aid, and pledged support for post-war reconstruction efforts.

Kuleba also held discussions with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, as reported by Tanjug news agency. Vucic described the conversation as constructive, emphasizing a mutual desire to enhance bilateral relations. Plans for an economic forum between the two countries' business communities were discussed, with Vucic announcing the return of the Serbian ambassador to Kyiv.

The Serbian president highlighted the European aspirations of both nations and emphasized the imperative of peace. He also raised concerns about Serbia's challenges on the international stage during the meeting with Kuleba.

Reuters observes that Vucic is navigating a delicate balance between Serbia's aspirations for EU membership and its historical ties with Russia and China. The Serbian population exhibits strong support for Russia, reflecting historical, religious, and political connections. Pro-Russian sentiments are prevalent on social media platforms.

Meanwhile, at a mental health conference in Belgrade, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's wife, Olena Zelenska, addressed the psychological toll of the war. She emphasized the need to support mental well-being, noting that a significant portion of Ukrainians are experiencing mental stress due to the conflict. The conference, co-hosted by Zelenska and Serbia's first lady Tamara Vucic, underscored the importance of fostering resilience amidst adversity.

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Tags: Serbia, Russia, Ukraine, Vucic

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