Russian Foreign Minister cancels his visit to Belgrade

Source: AHMED YOSRI / REUTERS

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's visit to Serbia has been cancelled after countries around Serbia closed their airspace to his aircraft, a senior foreign ministry source told the Interfax news agency on Sunday, as reported by Reuters.

The source confirmed Serbian media reports that said Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Montenegro had closed their airspace to the plane that would have carried Moscow’s top diplomat to Belgrade on Monday, N1 Belgrade reported, citing Reuters. 

„Our diplomacy has yet to master teleportation,“ the source said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Lavrov would hold an online news conference “on topical issues on the international agenda” at 1 pm Moscow time.

Ahead of Lavrov’s announced visit to Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and North Macedonia banned the overflight of Russian government planes through their air space, Sputnik reported. The information was confirmed by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

The refusal of a number of European countries to let a plane with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov into Serbia is an indicator of a complex of political inferiority, said the president of the Russian Federation Council International Committee, Grigory Karasin, RIA Novosti reported.

Russian ambassadors to Montenegro and Bulgaria confirmed that these two countries have banned the overflight of Russian government planes through its air space.

The Foreign Ministry in Skopje told Radio Free Europe that Northern Macedonia has refused the Russian Embassy’s request to allow the passage of Lavrov’s plane through its air space.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic last week said that the situation regarding Lavrov’s visit to Serbia was complicated. “It’s getting complicated, it definitely is, I am still not ready to talk about it but yes – it is getting complicated, the question is how he will come…we will see,” Vucic told pro-regime TV Pink.

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic described the situation as “extremely complicating”, adding that Vucic was handling the logistics of Lavrov’s trip to Serbia.

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