The President of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), Ivica Dacic, told state RTS TV that Belgrade should not join various condemnations and sanctions against Russia, because countries asking Serbia to do so did not help the country in the 1999 NATO bombing, while the former head of state and the leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party Boris Tadic said Russia had carried out an aggression against Ukraine and that it would be a big problem when the EU demand Belgrade to impose sanctions on Moscow.
„Are we (Serbia) an energy power, so that everything depends on how we will declare ourselves? We must look after our interests. We have died a lot for others,“ Dacic said.
He added Serbia should „preserve relations with the EU and with Russia and China because no one will defend us if they (Russia and China) stop defending us.“
He said the crisis in Ukraine happened because the West did not respect the agreement that NATO would not go to the East.
„We have to balance, and the Ukrainian and Russian people will pay a high price. We appeal for peace,“ Dacic said.
However, Tadic told RTS Serbia could not support the recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk because it was contrary to its interests in Kosovo.
„If we condemned the invasion of Serbia, we cannot support that recognition now. We must have a balanced policy,“ he said.
Tadic added that „the big problem would be when the EU pressures Serbia to impose sanctions on Russia.“
The official Belgrade stand toward the Russian attack on Ukraine is expected later on Thursday, after President Aleksandar Vucic’s meeting with the Quinta countries and the EU delegation to Serbia, and following the sessions of the National Security Council and Government.
On Wednesday, before the Russian attack on early Thursday, Vucic said that official Belgrade would respond to calls to align with the European Union’s decision to impose sanctions on Russia in the next 48 hours.
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