The US Army General Todd Volters is the new supreme commander of the NATO Joint Pact in Europe. At that place he replaced the former chief commander General Kurtis Skaparotti. Volters will have more than a major responsibility in the new function as it will be the chief commander of the US Air Force in Europe and Africa and will carry out a number of other responsible duties. The ceremony at which this general will officially take over his new duty will be held this spring in the military headquarters of the NATO, in the Belgian city of Mons. We recall that Volter’s predecessor Skaparoti, recently in an interview with Radio Free Europe, accused Russia for support to Serbia to keep its influence on the population and the country’s top peak. According to him, Russia has been for years encouraging and feeding Serbia’s tensions and conflicts with Kosovo because it does not want Serbia to take significant steps in Euro-Atlantic integration.
In March last year, Skaparoti provoked controversial reactions with a statement he gave during a conversation with members of the US Senate Armed Forces Committee, that the influence of Russia on Serbia and the Republica Srpska was the biggest military and security problem in the Balkans. Journalists of some media in Serbia misunderstood his statement and announced that he said that “Serbia and the Republica Srpska are the biggest security problems in the Balkans”. Some Serbian politicians like Defense Minister Alexander Vulin reacted sharply to this. After that, the Pentagon responded, explaining that the opinion made by General Skaparoti did not reflect the official attitude of the US Department of Defense, and that Vulin responded to a wrongly translated statement. The overwhelming interference between the Vulin and Pentagon was also helped by the chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Peter Pavel, who urgently came to Belgrade. In a conversation he had with Vulin, he reiterated that NATO does not consider Serbia, Republica Srpska and Serbian people for disruptive factors in the Balkans.