“Prior to the arrival of the “Srpska napredna stranka”, bilateral ties between Serbia and Russia in the military area were at a much lower level. Serbia is now the most permeable environment in the Western Balkans when it comes to Russian influence” the US Department of Defense published in May this year and was reported by Radio Free Europe these days.
The document stresses that after 2012, “Srpska napredna stranka” has taken steps to increase military co-operation with Russia. However, there are those who think otherwise. Radio Free Europe requested comment from Milovan Drecun, SNS MP in the Serbian Parliament and chairman of the Kosovo Committee. He said that Serbia and Russia had about thirty activities on various levels of defense and security each year, but five times more with the US and NATO. His opinion is also shared in the Serbian party. In that party, they believe that Serbia has closer military co-operation with NATO and the US than with Russia.
Edward Joseph, a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, commented for the Voice of America. He said the relationship of the West towards Serbia must change, especially because of its cooperation with Russian intelligence services. Joseph stressed that the Pentagon’s report is significant because it confirms what was suspected in the West – that Serbia is intensifying military co-operation with Russia while, at the same time, backwards in implementing reforms and democratization and allegedly tries to resolve the Kosovo issue. According to him, it is well known that Russia has no interest from solving the Kosovo problem. Joseph added that because of the intensifying cooperation between Russia and Serbia, the sincerity of Aleksandar Vucic’s commitment to Serbia’s EU membership is being questioned. He added that the Pentagon’s report is a warning to diplomats who are talking to Vucic that they monitor his cooperation with Russia because the US government is fully aware of how widespread and deep that cooperation is.