BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia’s authorities on Thursday named a staunchly pro-Russian politician because the Balkan state’s new spy chief.
Aleksandar Vulin, who served as Serbia’s inside minister within the earlier authorities and held the protection ministry portfolio previous to that’s taking on because the director of BIA, Serbia’s intelligence company, the federal government stated in an announcement.
As Serbia’s inside minister, Vulin visited Moscow in August, a uncommon go to by a European state official that underscored Belgrade’s refusal to hitch Western sanctions in opposition to Russia over its struggle in Ukraine.
He then informed Russian Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov that “Serbia is the one state in Europe that didn’t introduce sanctions and was not a part of the anti-Russian hysteria.”
Serbia, which formally seeks European Union membership, has for years been drifting away from its EU path and towards conventional Slavic ally Russia, in addition to China.
Vulin is taken into account “Moscow’s man” throughout the Serbian management. His appointment to such a delicate intelligence publish is seen as one other snub to the West and its requires Serbia to align its overseas insurance policies with the EU if it actually desires to hitch the bloc.
The appointment outraged Serbia’s pro-Western opposition.
The “appointment will utterly cease” BIA’s cooperation with Western safety businesses and can contribute to “the extra worldwide isolation of Serbia,” opposition PSG celebration stated in an announcement.
It identified that Vulin “brazenly advocates pro-(Vladimir) Putin positions” and assessed that the appointment designates Serbia “as Russia’s solely ally in Europe.”
Marinika Tepic of the opposition SSP celebration stated she’s satisfied that Vulin’s appointment “reveals that Serbia is heading in the direction of dictatorship” wherein “all means can be allowed within the combat in opposition to political opponents.”
Vulin has stated that Serbia ought to abandon its EU membership aim and as an alternative flip to Moscow, typically blasting Serbia’s neighboring states and their leaders and calling them derogatory names. He has been barred from coming into EU-member Croatia.
Vulin has been advocating the creation of “the Serbian World” — a replica of the Russian World — that will unite all Serbs within the Balkans below one flag led by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
Final yr, Vulin had reportedly created a “working group” with Nikolai Patrushev, the highly effective secretary of the Kremlin’s Safety Council, to combat “shade revolutions” — a collection of mass protests that typically led to the toppling of autocratic regimes largely within the Center East and Asia.
Serbian unbiased media had reported that at their assembly in Moscow late final yr, Vulin handed to Patrushev wiretaps from a Belgrade assembly held by members of the Russian opposition. It has been troublesome for opposition teams to prepare conferences in Russia and selected Belgrade as a result of hey don’t want visas to enter Serbia.
Shortly after the Belgrade assembly, some who attended had been arrested in Russia. Vulin has denied that he handed over the tapes to Patrushev.