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Russian Denied Fly Overs
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday June 21, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

Serbia and Russia confirmed that a planned visit by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to the Balkan country will not take place.† Moscow is accusing the West of preventing the trip by blocking the envoy's flight.

The announcement followed reports that Serbia's neighbors Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro, had refused to allow Sergey Lavrov's plane to fly through their airspace to reach Serbia.

During an online news conference Lavrov said: "An unthinkable thing has happened. A sovereign state has been deprived of its right to conduct foreign policies. The international activities of Serbia on the Russian track have been blocked."

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met with Russia's ambassador to Serbia who informed him that Lavrov could not come because the Russian government plane was denied necessary flyover permissions.

Montenegro, Bulgaria and North Macedonia are all members of NATO. †And Lavrov blamed NATO countries for engineering the flight ban.† He noted that the action showed once again that the main purpose of the allianceís expansion is to try to isolate Russia.

For his part, the Russian foreign minister said that the West has trampled on the principle of a free choice of foreign policy partners.

Serbia, meanwhile, is almost fully dependent on Russia for gas. Serbian President Vucic recently talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the phone to arrange a new deal for gas supplies over the next three years.

Itís not just about obtaining the gas. Analyst Slobodan Stupar described Lavrov's attempted visit to Belgrade as a "show" that would have been used by Moscow to further vilify the West.

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24 June 2022 04:41 PM in Thoughts

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