President Vucic said the US has sanctioned intelligence agency director Aleksandar Vulin because of his close ties to the Kremlin, not for alleged criminality.
Commenting on US sanctions imposed on the head of Serbia’s Security Information Agency, BIA, Aleksandar Vulin, President Aleksandar Vucic said he is not being sanctioned for any criminal activities but for his close ties with Russia.
“I didn’t notice that cocaine was found in Vulin’s office but in the White House,” Vucic said, acidly, referring to news published last week that cocaine was found in the West Wing of the US presidential office.
“Sanctions were not imposed against Vulin over crime but because of his relationship with the Russian Federation,” Vucic added, announcing that he will talk about this in more detail.
The US on Tuesday sanctioned Vulin, a close ally to Vucic, accusing him of fostering corruption and promoting Russia’s interests.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said Vulin had been implicated in transnational organised crime, illegal narcotics operations and misuse of public office.
Vulin had maintained a “:relationship with the US-designated Serbian arms dealer Slobodan Tesic, helping ensure that Tesic’s illegal arms shipments can move freely across Serbia’s borders,” the US statement said.
“Vulin’s acts have advanced corruption within Serbia’s governing institutions,” the statement added, accusing him of leveraging his authority for personal gain and involvement in a drug-trafficking ring.
The Serbian opposition urged Government to dismiss Vulin from his position.
Vulin himself did not comment on the designation but his party, the Movement of Socialists, PS, claimed that US “killers” want to drag Serbia into the “Russophobe side”.
“For the killers from the White House, it is Vulin’s fault that he supports international law and that he refuses to be dragged into the Western conflict in the East. Vulin’s attitude that we want peace and not to be a Russophobic side in a fratricidal war,” the party stressed.
Vulin’s party also accused the US of supporting a drug clan, most probably the drug trafficking clan of Veljko Belivuk, who was known to have ties with the ruling majority in Serbia, but who was arrested in 2019 thanks to joint police agencies in Europe and use of Sky EEC secure communication devices that the Belivuk group used.
“Washington, as always, lies, hates and rapes the truth, so Vulin, who destroyed the drug clans that had the support of the CIA, is now being declared a drug dealer, even though because of Vulin, their favourite drug killers are in prison, from which they will only be released if [US] ambassador Hill and [opposition figure] Dilas come to power,” the party stated.
Vulin was appointed director of the BIA in 2022 and previously served as Defence Minister and Interior Minister, Labour Minister and as chief of Serbia’s Kosovo Office.
He is the first official from Serbia to be sanctioned by the US while in power since Slobodan Milosevic’s rule in the 1990s.
Source : Balkaninsight