The Balkan nation of Serbia, long a Russian ally, is playing the role of battle ground between East and West. The leader of Serbia is cementing ties with Moscow after long being rebuffed by the European Union over the issue of the recognition of Kosovo. The ethnic-Albanian republic broke away from Serbia during the late 1990s; NATO participated in the defeat of the Serbian military during the conflict, to the chagrin of Moscow.
“I will not pay double for liquefied gas to please someone in the West. I will buy cheap gas so that people can live and industry can develop. Those are not my money, those are people’s money, state money,” declared Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
Russian president Vladimir Putin flies to Belgrade this month and will sign multiple economic agreements. “The main thing for us is to reach an agreement with Russians. We want that, and we will do it,” the Serbian leader noted, added TASS. The two presidents are expected to discuss the implementation of joint projects in energy, infrastructure and innovation technologies. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said that the sides may also sign an agreement on the construction of a nuclear center in Serbia.