US sanctions official who accused it of ‘blackmailing’ his country

Lazy eyes listen


The US sanctioned Serbia’s intelligence chief, Aleksandar Vulin, accusing him of corruption and collusion with an arms dealer. In response, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that Washington is targeting Vulin solely because he opposes Western policy toward Moscow.

The penalties were issued by the US Treasury Department on Tuesday, with the Serbian intelligence head accused of misusing his position “for personal gain while undermining effective and democratic governance in the Western Balkans.”

According to US authorities, Vulin is involved in the drug trade and has assisted arms dealer Slobodan Tesic, in addition to “[using] his public positions to support Russia, facilitating Russia’s malign activities.”

The government will now take any property or assets owned by Vulin in the United States.

Individuals and businesses are also barred from transacting with the Serbian official or providing him with goods or services, according to the statement.

Serbian President Vucic stated on Wednesday that the sanctions “have not been imposed on Aleksandar Vulin for any crime, corruption, or anything.”

“The sanctions were imposed because of his position towards the Russian Federation,” he asserted.

Vulin alleged on Serbia’s Pink TV last July, while acting as interior minister, that the West was forcing Belgrade to relinquish its independent foreign policy.

The official warned that if Serbia agrees to put sanctions on Russia, the West will demand that Belgrade give arms to Ukraine and, eventually, troops “for conflicts.”