Serbian Leader Says Country Improved Its International Profile by Not Joining Anti-Russian Sanctions

© AP PhotoSerbian Presidential Press Service, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic
Serbian Presidential Press Service, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 29.10.2023
BELGRADE (Sputnik) - After Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, the European Union, together with the United States and other countries, imposed unprecedented sanctions against Moscow, including a $60 price cap on oil, and also imposed an embargo on hundreds of products.
Serbia has been resisting pressure to impose sanctions on Russia for about two years, which solidified its international reputation as a free and independent nation, President Aleksandar Vucic said on Sunday.
"They have not yet 'brought the Tsar to the fence' [idiom, at the end of one's rope] on this issue, when this happens, I will not hide it from the people, and I will tell the people. But by doing so, Serbia has strengthened its reputation as a free and independent country that pursues its own policy," Vucic told Serbian broadcaster Prva.
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The Serbian authorities have repeatedly pointed to growing pressure from the West over Belgrade's independent decision-making on the matter of sanctions.

"Don't forget — we are the only country in the whole of Europe that has not imposed sanctions against Russia for a little short of two years already. Although it seemed impossible… I only worked to protect the country and to pursue a responsible and serious policy," the Serbian president said.

Following the Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, the country was subject to multiple punitive measures introduced by the EU and the US. At the same time, Serbia and other countries announced their refusal to succumb to pressure from their European and American partners and join the sanctions, citing the protection of national interests and the desire to maintain good relations with Moscow.