Editor’s note: In 1999 Romania and Bulgaria closed airspace to prevent the Russians from reinforcing Pristina airport. Now Montenegro, Macedonia and Bulgaria have moved onto blockading the foreign minister…
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov slammed the decision of some NATO countries not to allow his plane to visit Serbia as unprecedented.
“There were a lot of questions from the media last night and this morning regarding our reaction to the unprecedented decisions taken by some NATO member states and the decisions that prevented the Russian Foreign Minister from visiting the Republic of Serbia. The unthinkable has happened, of course; I understand the interest you are showing in our assessment of these outrageous actions,” Lavrov said on Monday at an online press conference on topical issues of the international agenda.
Lavrov pointed out that the decision by a number of countries not to let his plane through is blocking Serbia’s international activities in the Russian direction. “What has happened is basically a deprivation of a sovereign state’s right to conduct foreign policy. Serbia’s international activity is blocked, at least for the moment in the direction of Russia,” the Foreign Minister stressed.
“We are not going to beat around the bush here. This is another very clear and instructive demonstration of the extent to which NATO and the EU can go to use the most lowbrow ways to influence those who are guided by national interests and not ready to sacrifice their principles, their dignity in favor of the very rules that the West imposes instead of international law,” Lavrov added.
According to Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Lavrov’s plane was denied passage in the airspace of countries surrounding Serbia. Earlier, the Serbian newspaper Vecernje Novosti reported that Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro refused to provide an air corridor for the plane of the Russian foreign minister, which was to go to Serbia.
“If a visit by the foreign minister to Serbia is perceived in the West almost as a threat of global scope, then, apparently, things are really bad in the West,” Russia’s top diplomat said.