"West won't like Serbia's military cooperation with Russia"
Political Sciences Professor Ivo Viskovic believes Aleksandar Vucic's Moscow visit in the beginning of a new phase in relations between Serbia and Russia.Source: Tanjug
In addition, he stressed that he expects the reaction of the West to the strengthening of military cooperation between Serbia and Russia "not to be quite benevolent at first."
This professor and former diplomat told Tanjug that when it comes to bilateral relations, the prime minister's visit this week to Russia "undoubtedly has great importance" and that such visits at the highest level "always give results." Viskovic is convinced that this course will be the beginning of a new phase in relations between the two countries.
He added that he finds the reaction of the West to the messages that have arrived from Moscow to be "the most important at this moment" - "because something has happened that is at this point extremely delicate for them, and that is the strengthening of military cooperation between Serbia and Russia."
"In the current crisis in international relations which exists between the West and Russia, it certainly won't be received benevolently and I fear that there will be a lot of unfavorable comments for a while," predicted Viskovic.
He added, however, that "the task of the politics" is to explain what happened and therefore believes that Serbia's diplomacy and state leaders "will very soon have contacts with Western statesmen and at least with their ambassadors here in Belgrade - and that the intention and the results of the visit will be explained quite clearly."
Viskovic also thinks it is important how the region will see the visit, and in this respect expects the acquisition of arms from Russia "to be treated especially carefully by our neighbors." He added he was "convinced that we, in a rather unpleasant moment, had to do something because the situation suddenly became more complicated, outside of our will and our participation."
"On the one hand, the refugee crisis, on the other the instability in some countries have led - as is well known, and the prime minister has recently said it publicly - to us believing that the situation in the region has been destabilized, and that we must carefully consider the possible consequences for our country," said Viskovic, adding that he personally did not perceive the situation to be "that serious," and instead considers it to be "a little better." He also remarked it was not necessary "to move towards more arming."
Viskovic concluded, however, that it was "obvious the state leadership's assessment was that the destabilization was so serious or dangerous that it must be prevented even with such measures as making it known that we are able to defend ourselves, and that nobody must endanger us in any way."