Ambassador says he "knows" which ministers are pro-Russian

Russian Ambassador to Serbia Aleksandr Chepurin has told Sputnik that he "knows which ministers in the new Serbian government are close to Russia."

Source: Sputnik
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(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

The diplomat was in the National Assembly when Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic presented his government and its program last week. According to him, Serbia has seen a consolidation of power in recent years.

"It is clear who the leader is. Of course, it pleases the prime minister. But at the same time, it's no exaggeration to say that a gigantic burden of responsibility is on him for the work of the government, for Serbia in general. I think it is good that the government relies on a solid majority in parliament and in society. It is difficult to manipulate such a government, among other things, from abroad. It is also true that the opposition is divided," Chepurin said, adding:

"The contradictions between opposition forces are significantly greater than the differences between them and the government. I think that constructive cooperation between the government and this or that opposition party on some issues is possible. All this is a good basis for the government's successful work."

The Sputnik reporter noted that "analysts have declared the new Serbian government to be 'pro-Western'," and then asked the Russian ambassador what he thought about it.

"It is important that the government is 'pro-Serb', able to protect Serbian interests. It is also important that the government is not anti-Russian. But realistically, the government of Serbia in the foreseeable perspective simply cannot be anti-Russian," said Chepurin.

Asked to comment on Vucic's presentation "being assessed in Bosnia-Herzegovina" as excessively focused on Serbdom, he said that Belgrade "cannot but care for the Serb Republic (RS)":

"The Balkans is a complex region, a powder keg. As for the Serb Republic, its special ties with Belgrade are no surprise. Both here, and there, are Serbs. They live in different countries. But everything else links them closely. Belgrade cannot but care about the fate of compatriots anywhere, especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This should be an axiom. And that's correct," said Chepurin.

Commenting on media speculation that the Russian president had influenced the formation of the government of Serbia, Chepurin said that neither the previous nor the present cabinet have any member who would declare themselves as anti-Russian.

"But I do know those who are close to Russia, who like Russia, Putin. Of course, there are nuances there, but we will work with everyone," concluded Chepurin.

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