Kremlin speaks out on attempted Serbian ‘Maidan’

Lazy eyes listen


The recent riots in Serbia’s capital of Belgrade were instigated by “third parties,” including those from overseas, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday.

Following the parliamentary election on December 17, in which the incumbent Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) gained a convincing majority, Serbia has been rocked by a wave of public protests. The pro-EU opposition coalition Serbia Against Violence (SPN) has accused the government of “vote theft.”

Protesters attempted to seize government buildings in Belgrade on Sunday evening, escalating the unrest. Despite fierce battles, police eventually drove the demonstrators out of the city centre.

In an interview with Russian media, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated that there was no evidence of anomalies in the Serbian elections, adding that observers “did not record any violations that could cast doubt” on their legitimacy.

“There are clearly processes and attempts by third forces, including those from abroad, to incite such unrest in Belgrade.” This is what we’re witnessing. “We have no doubt that the republic’s leadership will uphold the rule of law in the country,” Peskov said.

The Kremlin official emphasised that Moscow maintained a policy of non-interference in the affairs of other nations, including Russia’s “ally and partner” Serbia.

“Everything that happens in the country is Serbia’s own business. We have never interfered in the internal affairs of other countries and do not intend to,” Peskov said.

His remarks echoed comments by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova earlier in the day. “The attempts of the collective West to shake up the situation in [Serbia] using the techniques of Maidan coups are obvious,” Zakharova said, referencing the 2014 armed uprising in Kiev that saw the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic denounced the riot in Belgrade as an attempted “color revolution” – a term commonly used to describe movements funded and organized by Western countries, usually the US, aimed at overthrowing leaders opposed to Washington’s interests.

Vucic first hailed anonymous “foreign services” for informing Belgrade of “exactly what the thugs were preparing.” Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic acknowledged that Belgrade had received critical intelligence about the protesters’ preparations from 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 said in an interview with TV Pink.