State Department: Podgorica, Sofia and Skopje made sovereign decisions

NEWS 07.06.2022 11:01
Source: Reuters

The US State Department said that Montenegro, North Macedonia and Bulgaria made sovereign decisions regarding their air space that reflect Europe’s commitment to hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked and unjustified aggression in Ukraine.

The three countries refused Monday to allow the overflight of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s plane.
“We urge Serbia to focus on its stated goal of European Union membership, including aligning its foreign and security policies with the rest of Europe,” Department spokesperson Ned Price told a press briefing.

“We have consistently urged Serbia to take steps that advance its European path, including diversifying its energy sources, to reduce energy dependence on the Russian Federation, and aligning its foreign and security policies with the EU. We have sought and we continue to seek to be a partner to Serbia to assist in its efforts to enhance its energy security for the long term,” said Price, commenting Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s decision to host Lavrov and Serbia’s refusal to implement EU sanctions against Russia.

Asked how the US and NATO will ensure that the three countries that closed their air space are protected from the threats from Russia, Price said that “all three countries are NATO members, and the commitment to Article Five on the part of all three is ironclad.”

The Kremlin described the decision by Bulgaria, Montenegro and North Macedonia as a „hostile act“, adding that such hostile acts “are capable of causing certain problems”.