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Regnum.ru: Helping Serbia correct Russia’s betrayal in the 1990s
Assisting Serbia and providing it with military equipment, the Russian leadership corrected the mistakes made by its predecessors in the 1990s, REGNUM columnist Mikhail Demurin said on Monday (28 October), commenting on the conduct of joint military exercises on both sides. As previously reported, the military of the two countries conducted the first ever joint exercises. Serbian Defense Minister Alexander Vulin took part in them. “Helping Serbia today by conducting joint exercises, delivering state-of-the-art military equipment, including modern air defense systems, and training Serbian army personnel, the country’s leadership is doing absolutely right. And the C-400 complexes will have to be delivered to Serbia.
Serious times are ahead for Serbia, the most important problem for its sovereignty remains unsolved – the problem with Kosovo, the Kosovars exacerbate the situation, the West supports them … In this connection I cannot help but recall the betrayal of Boris Yeltsin, who banned the delivery of C-300 systems in Serbia on the eve of NATO bombing in Serbia. He himself, in talks with US President Bill Clinton, attributed this merit. It was a crime against Serbia and against Russia’s interests.
By building further relations with Serbia, Russia will inevitably face other consequences of the then policy our country pursued in the 1990s and early 2000s. This is Belgrade’s involvement in co-operation programs with NATO, its desire to make Serbia an EU member. However, I hope that Belgrade eventually makes the necessary changes to maintain Serbian independence and sovereignty. Serbia is not expecting anything good on this western road. And I will reiterate that the other choice must be seriously defended”, said Mikhail Demurin.
Critics of Gorbachev and Yeltsin are routine in Putin’s Russia. But calls for a rising militarization of Serbia, as a way of diverting it from Europe and on the road, are a relative novelty. The key words in this article are to help Serbia maintain its “independence and sovereignty”, which accurately reflects the Kremlin’s intention to build its foreign policy towards the Western Balkans through Serbia as an outpost of Moscow, relying on nationalism and revanchism. At the same time, it is clear that the absence of conflict in the area sharply narrows the possibility of success and the basis for such a policy of Moscow. It follows, logically, that the Kremlin will focus on maintaining a minimum but sufficiently high levels of uncertainty and volatility to allow the above course.