Interview 30 Nov 16

Lavrov Puts Russia-Serbia Relations Into Sharp Focus

Russia’s Foreign Minister will be seeking to clarify Moscow’s increasingly complex relations with Serbia on his upcoming visit to Belgrade, explains Bosko Jaksic, a Belgrade-based foreign policy expert.

Natalia Zaba
BIRN
Belgrade
Bosko Jaksic, Photo by: Media Center

Serbia and Russia have much to discuss during Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Belgrade on December 12 and 13, Bosko Jaksic told BIRN.

Serbian authorities have long boasted of their close links to historic ally, Russia. Recently, however, Moscow has become more critical of Belgrade’s policy of getting closer to the EU and to NATO, and Jaksic said the Russians would want to discuss “serious topics… that are unsettling the official political discourse”.

Lavrov’s visit could also be seen as a compensatory gesture by Russia for the mysterious no-show of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev whose expected visit has never materialized, he noted.

“It has never been clarified exactly why Medvedev did not come to Serbia,” Jaksic said, adding that this also suggested that Serbia–Russia relations are not as quite as close as some Serbian politicians like to claim.

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