Environmentalists: Roadblocks at five locations in Serbia on Saturday

Ljubica Sokić/Nova.rs

Environmental organisations on Friday called on people to join the roadblocks across Serbia on Saturday after environmental problems related primarily to Rio Tinto's plan to mine lithium in the west of the country.

The protests will be held at several locations in Serbia, from 1 pm, under the slogan „Rio Tinto March from Serbia!“, Nova.rs reported.

Serbia’s Association of Environmental Organisations said they would bloc the motorway at Sava Center and the Gazela Bridge in Belgrade, the western Trbusnica-Preljina border crossing near Loznica, the Lozinica Bridge in the western town of Uzice, Pesak Put Pozega-Kosjeric and the southwestern town of Nova Varos.

Earlier this week, Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic warned that the state would react if the demonstrators blocked a border crossing.

Belgrade authorities met some of the activists’ demands, but they requested them to terminate all contracts with Rio Tinto and expel the company out of Serbia.

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The authorities have been sending conflicting messages. President Aleksandar Vucic said Serbia would have to pay a billion euros if Rio Tinto was sent out of the country, while Mining and Energy Minister Zorana Mihajlovic said Rio Tinto did not have the right to exploit lithium in Serbia.

The environmentalists recalled they demanded that contracts signed with the Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto company and the Government decree on the Spatial Plan for the Rio Tinto’s ‘Jadar Project’the were published were revoked.

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