The affair with Serbia’s ammunition factory Krusik and the role of Serbia’s Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic’s father in shady arms trade would wait for President Aleksandar Vucic in Sochi, where he was to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, N1 reported.
If the two would discuss the issue, involving arms from Serbia ending in Ukraine and reportedly used against pro-Russian forces there and the spy affair involving a Russian secret agent and Serbia’ army officer, would probably remain secret.
However, Yevgeny Alexandrovich Primakov Jr., a journalist and foreign policy analyst, and a Balkans expert Nikita Bondarev tackled both topics on a Russia 24 TV talk show ahead of Vucic arrival.
They said that the spy story was released to cover up the Krusik affair in which, they added, Serbia’s top officials were involved.
Vucic on Tuesday said that as far as he was concerned the spy affair was over.
Primakov Jr., also a member of Putin’s party and a deputy of the Duma, wanted to know why the footage of the Russian intelligence officer was aired, saying “the coincidence was interesting” and Bondarev, also Putin’s interpreter during his visit to Belgrade last January, explained why.
“For weeks now, the topic not so much presented to the Russian public, about the export of grenades made in Krusik dominated media in Serbia. The father of Serbia’s Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic represented the Serb side in that business,” Bondarev said.
He added he believed the affair affected Vucic’s health because “he ended up in a hospital for three days and wasn’t available to the media for a comment. And at that time, the famous ‘spy scandal’ happened.”
Bondarev said that a minor Bulgarian website published the story and the footage which, according to too him, was professionally made.
Both Vucic and Stefanovic vehemently denied any involvement of the Minister’s father in arms trade. Some of the ammuniton ended in Saudi Arabia, and was believed to get in possession of terrorists.
Serbia’s opposition and the independent media did not stop searching for new details.
The latest information came from the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), which published a photo of Branko Stefanovic’s visa for Saudi Arabia.
Besides, BIRN said it possessed a letter GIM private arms factory involved in the dubious arms trade sent to the Riyadh embassy in Sarajevo where Stefanovic was named as a part of Serbia’s delegation in the capacity of “GIM’s legal advisor.”
BIRN’s journalist Aleksandar Djordjevic said that „all contracts GIM signed with Krusik envisaged a five percent provision. The latest documents show that GIM was selling mines, exclusively made in Krusik at 90 percent higher price. For example, a mine purchased for 47 dollars for was sold for 90 dollars.“