US Senator Chris Murphy said that he was told by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic that he would decide on the country’s course in the next two months.
“Call me in sixty days. Check to see if I’ve done what I am telling you I will do,” the senator quoted Vucic as saying at the end of their meeting in Belgrade.
Murphy said in a blog post that he and fellow senators Jeanne Shaheen and Thom Tillis had a long and candid conversation with Vucic “about Serbia’s historic desire to, as they say in the Balkans, sit on two chairs … one in Europe and one in Russia”. “Vucic had deftly managed this balance for years, but now the invasion of Ukraine has forced him to a decision point. No longer will the European Union — of which Serbia wants to become a member — let Vucic sit in both chairs. He is going to have to choose, and over the course of the hour, we pushed Vučić on several short-term steps he could make toward the right choice,” the senator wrote.
Murphy said that Vucic greeted the three senators warmly at the Presidency but interrupted his “ typical, long-winded set of diplomatic remarks about the long friendship between our two nations” saying: “Chris, Chris Chris…we know each other too well. Stop this formality. What do you want to know? I will tell you.” The senator recalled that he had developed a relationship with Vucic, meeting with him over lunch in Washington on a number of occassions.