June 15th, 2015

toon

Serbia and the games of the great powers

The Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic, usually known as a radical nationalist, used to be a staunch supporter of Russia and vocal critic of the US - until very recently. But that appears to be changing now. Last week, after a visit to the US, Vucic suddenly started singing of a possible partnership with "our American friends".


That visit speaks of a radical turn in Serbia's policy, because until now it used to be Moscow's closest satellite. Just like other Balkan countries, Serbia is very dependent on Russian gas. And that gas is still passing through the very unstable Ukrainian route. For many years the rulers in Serbia were betting on the construction of the South Stream pipeline, because it was supposed to bypass Ukraine via the Black Sea floor and through Bulgaria. But this project was killed in its crib, because it was against EU's interests (or the EU "rules", as the EU officially claims). Later, Gazprom announced they'd be stopping the transit gas supply through Ukraine after 2019.

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