Russia will react sharply if Serbia accepts at least one of the sanctions toward Moscow because of the Ukrainian crisis and absorption of Crimea, writes Nase Novine, citing diplomatic sources.
Message to leadership
According to this source, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Serbian leadership that, if they succumb to pressures from the European Union, he will seek from Belgrade the immediate settlement of debt of around €1 billion for Russian gas, but also compensation for the damage that Russia suffered due to delay of works on the South Stream pipeline.
As the source stated, Russia’s warning arrived at the address of Aleksandar Vucic, deputy prime minister, and Ivica Dacic, prime minister, on the eve of a meeting that will be held Monday in Brussels, because it is assumed that Serbia will be exposed to pressure to, as a candidate for EU membership, follow Brussels’s policy.
Aleksandar Vucic, in response to this information, said he would do everything in his power to protect the interests of Serbia. “I will do everything I can to protect our national interest maximally in this situation,” Vucic told Nase Novine.
The newspaper received a brief response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which announced that Serbia will not take hostile steps toward Russia.
“The new government will publish its views on all the most important issues around the Ukrainian crisis,” said the Ministry.
Nase Novine’s source has stated that, as a last resort, Moscow is ready to suspend its free trade agreement with Serbia.
“President Putin personally stands behind these messages and they should be taken highly seriously,” the source said, Tanjug reports.(TSN)