Serbia’s Aleksandar Vulin has been targeted by Washington because of his position on Moscow, President Aleksandar Vucic has claimed
The US has sanctioned the head of Serbia’s intelligence service, Aleksandar Vulin, accusing him of corruption and involvement with an arms dealer. In response, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic claimed Washington is targeting Vulin purely for his opposition to Western policy on Moscow.
The US Treasury Department announced the sanctions on Tuesday, describing the Serbian intelligence chief as abusing his position “for personal gain while undermining effective and democratic governance in the Western Balkans.”
According to US authorities, Vulin is implicated in the drug trade and has aided arms dealer Slobodan Tesic, as well as “[using] his public positions to support Russia, facilitating Russia’s malign activities.”
Any property or assets in the US belonging to Vulin will now be seized by the government.
According to the statement, individuals and businesses are also prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the Serbian official, as well as providing him with goods or services.
Commenting on the decision, Serbian President Vucic insisted on Wednesday that the measures “have not been imposed on Aleksandar Vulin for any crime, corruption or anything.”
“The sanctions were imposed because of his position toward the Russian Federation,” he claimed.
Speaking last July to Serbia’s Pink TV while serving as interior minister, Vulin claimed that the West was pressuring Belgrade to abandon its independent foreign policy.
The official warned that should Serbia agree to impose sanctions on Russia, the West would go on to demand that Belgrade provide weapons to Ukraine, and eventually request troops “for conflicts with Russia.”
Serbia is one of the few European countries that have refused to impose punitive measures on Moscow over the conflict with Ukraine. Belgrade has also declined to supply arms to Kiev, instead striving to maintain neutrality.
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