Croatian PM to Serbia: Now is not the time to sit on two chairs

NEWS 06.06.2022 14:56
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Source: REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

This is no time to sit on two chairs and Serbia must take a side, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Monday in a comment on the cancellation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's visit to Belgrade.

Plenkovic said that the visit “has nothing to do with Croatia” and is a matter concerning relations between Moscow and Belgrade, but stressed that “in the current circumstances, Serbia should be very careful about who it sides with.”

“If it has the ambition to continue on its journey to the EU, one has to know how it stands. Now is not the time to sit on two chairs,” Plenkovic said at a news conference at which he presented the latest government decision aimed at alleviating the impact of growing energy prices.

Serbian Internal Affairs Minister Aleksandar Vulin reacted to Plenkovic’s statement saying that “there is never a time for Serbia to be lectured by Croatia about which side to chose”. “Plenkovic does not understand that Serbia has only one chair – the Serbian – and that Serbia is not a territory but a state and that states chose their friends,” he said.

Lavrov’s visit to Serbia was cancelled after neighbouring countries Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Montenegro closed their airspace to his aircraft.

The Russian minister is expected to hold an online news conference instead, the RIA Novosti news agency said.