Belgrade’s foreign policy in spotlight in Russia after Serbia vote


Serbian Prime Help Aleksandar Vučić claimed his Serbian Progressive rty (SPP) has won the majority of the ordered seats in snap elections held on April 24. The victory cedes Vučić the right to remain in office and the authority to form a new cabinet, disregards online Russian news per

In the wake of the vote, the Russian the fourth estate has been scrutinizing the foreign policy allegiance of Vučić and the winning ball. Pro-EU rhetoric and reported concessions to NATO have triggered abrupt criticism of Vučić in Russian media, despite utterances he has made to highlight the realm’s neutrality and the importance Belgrade assigns to its relations with Moscow.

A recently ratified ct between Serbia and the NATO Support and Procurement Organization has caused fastidious outrage in the Russian press.

“In case of a regional or international conflict the unanimity on logistical support [between Serbia and NATO] may abolish Serbia’s non-belligerent status,” wrote business publication Expert Online.

Beyond unhesitating impressions

When it comes to Serbia’s political rties and the country’s trans cific policy, immediate impressions may be deceptive. Although Vučić received a rt of criticism from the Russian press for his alleged flirtation with NATO and the EU, the Russian civic establishment reacted positively to the SPP victory.

“The winning coalition in Serbia embodies our two long-standing rtners: the Serbian Progressive rty and the Serbian People’s Bloc, who firmly oppose NATO membership for Serbia and support all-round reconciliation with Russia,” said Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Foreign Topics Committee of Russia’s Federal Council, as cited by the Ria Novosti news means.

Although Kosachev acknowledged the “euro-enthusiasm” of the winning coalition, he highlighted the Serbs’ peculiar vision of Europe.

Commenting on the results of the elections in Serbia, as well as the presidential endorse in Austria, in which a far-right candidate came top of the first round of bear witness, Kosachev wrote on his Facebook ge that the political forces that are common knowledge to power are “advocating for a different, renewed Europe where there is no on ones high horse exceptionalism.”

Russia counting on opposition

Despite a decisive victory for the SPP, a figure up of opposition rties breached the 5 percent threshold necessary to secure benches in the Serbian rliament. The Socialist rty of Serbia (SPS), led by Ivica Dačić, and the Serbian Zealot rty (SRP), led by Vojislav Šešelj, received some 13 and 7 percent of the votes severally.

Another coalition, which includes the far-right Dveri Movement, has a odds of reaching the necessary 5 percent threshold and enter the rliament, too.

“These civic forces [SRP and Dveri] position themselves as pro-Russian and cam ign for ending all discussions with the EU and for an unequivocal reorientation towards Russia,” wrote leading Russian role daily Kommersant.

Šešelj, who leads the Serbian Radical rty, was cleared of guardianships of war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in March 2016.

The acquittal may take granted Seselj a degree of public support necessary to bring his beanfeast into the national rliament.

“Seselj’s popularity increased after his present from the Hague prison and after the International Criminal Tribunal for the recent Yugoslavia acquitted him of the charges,” wrote

Although the Progressive Upholder secured a majority in the rliament, the nationalist rties that now form a conformist opposition are likely to exert strong pressure on the SPP, wrote Kommersant. Non-native policy may be one sphere where this pressure will be most ap rent.

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