Vucic: We have documented a series of Russian agent operations in Serbia

 Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said Thursday night that Serbian services have uncovered a series of operations involving Russian agents and members of the Serbian army.

He made the comments Thursday night after a meeting of the National Security Council that followed the posting on social media of a video showing a Russian intelligence agent spying on a Serbian security service official.

He said the video recording was not made by the Serbian Military Intelligence Service, which was aware of the incident that occurred on December 24, 2018, when “our security service had provided information that in Zemun, at around 18:00 pm, the retired Lieutenant Colonel ZK meet with Russian Lieutenant Colonel Gerogie Kleban ”.

He said documenting was not possible at the time because there were other people there.

"I can tell you that on several occasions we have documented by photo and video the meetings of the Lieutenant Colonel Kleban with members of the Serbian army. Only for Kleban, while we have videos and photographs documented for other members of the Russian security service with members of the Serbian military structures, but only with Georgi Kleban have been documented 10 contacts with three conspiracy sources and, in three cases, the Lieutenant Colonel Kleban gave money to members of the Serbian Army," he said, noting that Georgi Kleban was an aide to the Russian military attaché in Serbia and is no longer in Serbian territory.

"We also have documents of meetings of other agents with nine members of our armed forces," he said.

The day before, the Serbian president had ordered the investigation of the video shoot, while on Thursday he met with Russian Ambassador to Belgrade Alexander-Bocan-Harchenko.

"I have asked today the extraordinary man, the serious ambassador of the Russian Federation, Alexander Bocan Harchenkos; Why? Nothing more. I have not seen any logic,” the Serbian president said, stressing that Serbia has very friendly relations with Russia.

"I am convinced, at least so I think, that President Putin has not been informed of such things," he said, underscoring Russia's support for Serbia's integrity, equipping its military and support for all international organizations.

"Serbia is the only country that has not imposed sanctions on the Russian Federation. The only country that has never voted against Russia in any form and the only country outside the Commonwealth of the Independent States or the Eurasian Union that holds military training with them and has never compromised its friendship with Russia,” he said.

President Vucic said all that has happened has strengthened Serbia's political position, which will strengthen its military neutrality. Serbia said it would not join NATO but either in any other military alliances.

The Serbian president is expected to travel to Moscow on December 4 to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the third meeting of this year.

It is unclear at this time what impact this will have on what has happened with the espionage scandal in relations between the two countries.

On Thursday morning, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that "relations with Serbia are a brotherly partnership. Nothing can hurt these relations."

Later in the day, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the video footage should be seen as a "provocation" aimed at creating "certain impressions" before important meetings.

Serbia remains Russia's ally, although it aims to join the European Union while most Serbs see Russia as their protectorate also because of its stance against Kosovo's independence declared in February 2008 with the support of the United States and key countries of the European Union.
Vucic: We have documented a series of Russian agent operations in Serbia Vucic: We have documented a series of Russian agent operations in Serbia Thursday, November 21, 2019 Rating: 5
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