On Monday, the Kremlin held talks between Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of Serbia Aleksandrom Vuchichem - expected to win the upcoming presidential elections. Vucic came to Russia for political support - and he got it. Meanwhile, Belgrade should think about how this "eternal friendship" framed on his part.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of Serbia Aleksandra Vuchicha can be characterized as "tightly closed". Initially it was assumed that will be discussed at least four themes - the overall economic cooperation, defense, tourism and culture, and Vucic described the meeting with the Russian leader as having "extraordinary political and economic significance." In any case, the details of the implementation of agreements already previously available were behind the scenes. General was only a friendly attitude and a clear support that the Russian leadership evinces Vucic in the upcoming presidential elections in Serbia.
Vucic was accompanied by Minister of Defense Zoran Dzhordzhevich and the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Social Affairs Aleksandr Vulin. Both are considered to be supporters of the pro-Russian Party of probation, which compete in today's Serbia supporters' integration with the EU. " This division into "pro-European" and "pro-Russian" is not so artificial as it was, say, ten years ago, and the Serb politicians have to invent rather complicated linguistic formulations to indicate the position of the state.
The same Vucic insisted on the neutrality of Serbia, as though such a choice exists. It was during the Cold War, Josip Broz Tito successfully invented the "non-aligned movement", which was headed and where the parasite for a long time. Now there is no Warsaw Pact, in Europe there are only NATO, which has already entered or will sooner or later will include traditional Serbian opponents - Croatia, Albania, Bosnia.
Briefly Belgrade's position boils down to the fact that Serbia has been and remains a close friend of Russia and would like to expand cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union, but at the same time "is on the European path." That this formulation means in practice, no one really can not explain, but it leaves the possibility for Belgrade to maintain negotiations with the regime of the EU and NATO. In addition, according to Vucic, Serbia "jealously guards its military neutrality", which seems quite strange verbal construction as the massive rearmament of the Serbian army is now going exclusively by the Russian weapons and Russian money.
Of course, it is a question of expanding military cooperation of all interested in the most. Critical theme remains the possibility of deliveries to Serbia Russian air defense systems. Almost a year ago it was on the supply of C-300, but talking about it gradually faded, and now Vucic says only "Buk" systems.
"We not only want police protection the sky, but also protect against potential attacks in the future" - he said he was still in Belgrade. Here, apparently, we are talking about the problems of translation: under the "police" the Serbian prime minister was referring to the constant protection of the country's air space, which "Buckow" enough. But after the war 1999 of Serbia defense system lies in ruins, and in an atmosphere of an arms race in the Balkans, which is on level groundCroatia launched, Belgrade needed a missile shield system because of Zagreb decided to get the German and American medium-range missiles. And this requires just C-300 and higher product class.
The Balkans - a small region, and accepted that the modern high-tech military system he simply irrelevant as an aircraft carrier in the Baltic Sea. But if an aggressive neighbor increases Park medium-range missiles that could theoretically reach up to your capital from it as it is necessary to defend themselves. The same goes for tactical aviation, which should provide cover at least the major cities.
We should not forget Kosovo. Participation of countries, education in international football tournaments do not negate the fact that Serbia will never accept the rejection of the historical part of yourself. Recently, the Serbian leadership is directly expressed that in case of recurrence of anti-Serbian pogroms in the region, it will be forced to enter the troops there. It is quite possible that we will live up to "anti-terrorist operation in Kosovo and Metohija." The risk of new Balkan fire has not been canceled, and no wonder Putin and Vucic stated that the situation in the region is only exacerbated.
The economic part of the negotiations covered in more detail, but crumpled. Vucic expressed surprise at "how much detail President Putin is familiar with many of our projects and work" (yes, we are not here Corn guarded). But the specifics of this was not followed. Actually, for the Serbian prime minister it was important the fact of the meeting with the Russian president, who wished him good luck in the upcoming presidential elections. Roughly along the same lines last week and held a meeting with the President of South Ossetia Leonid Tibilov - sometimes the fact of support means more than public demonstration of the new economic projects. In the end, it is often not in the economy and in maintaining the trend in the pro-Russian orientation of Belgrade.
Yes, Vucic have to invent heavy language to maneuver between two mutually exclusive trends. But there are things that can not retouch. Virtually no country in Europe, it does not support Belgrade on Kosovo - and none of the really influential. No country NATO will not rearm the Serbian army. And it is, no one will provide diplomatic cover for Serbia's controversial ideological issues, for example when considering the resolution in the UN on the events in Srebrenica. This is even if we forget about the technical credits, which provide military and technical cooperation.
In response, Belgrade declares its exceptional position on the sanctions. According to Vucic, Serbia is the only country in Europe which has consistently and categorically rejects the imposition of economic restrictions against Russia. It is, of course, because (and this is especially valuable in the background in Montenegro), but still a "historic friendship" implies not only passive resistance, but also some meaningful steps.