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11 Aug, 2023 08:28

West can’t defeat Russia – Vucic

The Ukraine conflict is now “a war of attrition,” with no easy solution on the horizon, the Serbian president has said
West can’t defeat Russia – Vucic

All Western efforts to help Ukraine prevail over Russia on the battlefield are in vain, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday, calling on Moscow and Kiev to engage in peace talks.

Speaking to Happy TV, Vucic stated that while Western countries are providing Ukraine with massive military assistance, “now it is clear that there is nothing to it,” and an “easy end” to the conflict is nowhere in sight.

“A war of attrition is being waged, and with all the strength of the West, Russia will not be defeated on the battlefield,” the Serbian leader opined.

Vucic noted that while he is “not sure what Russia has to gain politically,” a truce between Russia and Ukraine would be the best outcome. “I see initiatives coming from some Arab countries, I hope that something will bring us closer to peace,” the president said, adding that a cessation of hostilities would also be in the interests of US President Joe Biden, who is up for reelection in 2024.

“The economy would immediately flourish; energy prices would drop dramatically. Everything would be much easier. I think he knows that the key issue in the US election is the economy,” Vucic said.

He also stated that the same would be true for Russia and Ukraine, which the president believes are “exhausted,” although he noted that Moscow was holding up under Western sanctions “better than many expected.”

In June, the Serbian leader warned of a possible escalation in the Ukraine conflict, saying that Kiev’s much-touted offensive – which Russia claims has failed to gain any ground – could trigger a strong response from Moscow.

Vucic’s comments come after a recent Saudi-hosted summit in Jeddah attended by officials from some 40 countries. While the list included Ukraine, some of its Western backers such as the US and the UK, and Moscow’s partners from the BRICS group (Brazil, India, China and South Africa), Russia itself was not invited. Moscow has argued that without its participation, any peace talks are pointless.

While the summit did not end with an official communique, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ukraine refrained from pushing its peace formula requiring the withdrawal of Russian troops from all territory Kiev claims as its own. Ukraine, however, denied that it had given up on its plan, which rejects any compromise on the ground with Moscow.