Aleksandar Vucic sees only escalation ahead for the West’s relations with Russia and China
The world is approaching a major conflict unseen since 1945, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic warned on Tuesday, after the first day of the UN General Assembly session in New York. Small countries can’t expect any good news going forward, Vucic added.
“You see a crisis in every part of the world,” Vucic told the Serbian state broadcaster RTS, noting that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made gloomy predictions in his keynote speech at the UNGA.
“I think realistic predictions ought to be even darker,” Vucic said. “Our position is even worse, since the UN has been weakened and the great powers have taken over and practically destroyed the UN order over the past several decades.”
Asked about the upcoming speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Vucic said it’s not difficult to predict its general outline.
I assume that we’re leaving the phase of the special military operation and approaching a major armed conflict, and now the question becomes where is the line, and whether after a certain time – maybe a month or two, even – we will enter a great world conflict not seen since the Second World War.
“For all of us small [countries] who only want to be secure and provide safety to our citizens, there is no good or easy news. I expect everything going forward to involve more complicated relations between the West and Russia, but also between the West and China,” the Serbian president added.
Vucic himself intends to address the nation next week, to inform Serbians of “important decisions” his government intends to make.
Serbia has been under tremendous pressure from the EU and NATO to impose sanctions against Russia and side with the West, but Vucic has persisted in maintaining neutrality while insisting that Belgrade aims to join the EU at some point in the future. Brussels has already told Belgrade that a prerequisite for that would be recognizing the breakaway province of Kosovo, however, which Vucic has vowed never to do.
Russia and China are among half the world’s governments that have not recognized Kosovo, occupied by NATO in 1999 and proclaimed a state in 2008 with US backing.