Serbia thanks Russia for ‘color revolution’ warning
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabiс has expressed gratitude to the Russian security services, which alerted Belgrade to plans for riots in the capital.
Pro-Western demonstrators attempted to break into government buildings in Belgrade on Sunday evening, in what Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called an attempted color revolution. While Vucic initially thanked unnamed “foreign services” for letting his security services “know exactly what the thugs were preparing,” Brnabiс later revealed that Belgrade was tipped off by Moscow.
“I feel that it is important, especially tonight, to stand up for Serbia and to thank the Russian security services who had that information and who shared it with us,” Brnabic told TV Pink on Sunday night.
“I can only say thank you, and it probably won’t be popular with those from the West,” the prime minister said, adding, “When we shared that information with everyone else, they said: ‘Well, that’s Russian disinformation, that’s spreading fake news.’”
Anti-government protests erupted in Serbia on Monday, with the opposition accusing the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) of “vote theft” during last week’s parliamentary elections, in which the party defeated the pro-EU Serbia Against Violence (SPN) coalition.
Vucic dismissed the allegations as “lies,” claiming that the protests were sponsored by the West, which wants him removed due to his relations with Russia and refusal to abandon Serbia’s claim to Kosovo.
Following the unrest in Belgrade, Vucic is expected to host Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Botsan-Kharchenko at his residence just across the square from the assembly where the protest took place, local media reported, citing the presidential press service. Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic has also scheduled a meeting with the Russian envoy.