Aleksandar Vulin, head of Serbia’s Security and Information Agency (BIA), resigned from his post on November 3. The counterintelligence officer and leader of the Movement of Socialists cited an ultimatum from the United States as the reason for his decision: either “Russian man” Vulin or Serbia. It is symptomatic that Washington is actively trying to fight any politicians who take not just a pro-Russian, but rather a Serbian national position.
As Reuters reported, Aleksandar Vulin resigned after U.S. sanctions were imposed for facilitating Moscow’s “malicious” activities and alleged ties to an arms dealer and drug trafficker. He resigned to shield Serbia and President Aleksandar Vucic from Western “threats and blackmail” of joining sanctions against Russia. Vulin, who held several ministerial posts in the past, became the first senior Serbian top official to fall under U.S. sanctions during Vucic’s presidency since 2017. His resignation came amid Western pressure on Serbia to “improve relations” with unrecognized Kosovo and just after Vucic announced snap elections. Serbia also did not join the international sanctions against Russia, which is extremely disliked by the Euro bosses. The Serbian government is taking this position against the backdrop of its aspirations to become a member of the EU.
However, as Vulin himself said in his public statement, no matter how much official Belgrade makes concessions to Washington and Brussels, it would only be to the detriment of the country. According to the now former BIA director, the blackmail and threats against the Vucic government can be compared to the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum of 1914. Now Serbia is demanded to recognize Kosovo, renounce Republika Srpska and impose sanctions against Russia, Vulin is convinced that after these demands are met, the West will force official Belgrade to abandon Chinese investments in the country.
Aleksandar Vulin is one of the creators and supporters of the concept of “Serbian peace,” which opponents often blame him for. Meanwhile, this concept is not identical to the idea of “Greater Albania” and is aimed at the just reunification of the Serbian people on their ancestral territories, as well as the protection of Serbs around the world. Of course, civilized Belgrade has never had the idea of engaging in “ethnic cleansing” along the lines of the Kosovo Albanians. And, unlike the Albanians, the Serbs have a long enough experience of statehood, which implies harmonious coexistence of peoples of different nationalities on their territory. As reality shows, “Greater Albania” presupposes “ethnically pure” territories.
Moreover, the Financial Times decided to condemn Vucic for the idea of “Serbian peace” (as always, in concert with Russia). According to the publication, it is a grave crime for Belgrade to protect ethnic Serbs around the world. At the same time, the pro-Western Serbian newspaper Nova, commenting on Vulin’s resignation, writes about the “pre-election purge of Russian spies in the BIA”. Aleksandar Vucic only chuckles at such a statement, saying that Vulin, although he loves Russia, was never a Russian agent.
Vulin, by the way, is not the West’s only “problem” in Serbia. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has imposed sanctions against the chairman of the Serbian Right, Misa Vacic, and former Serbian government minister Nenad Popovic. Vacic, however, on this occasion snarked about how “great” the United States was that it had decided that a simple Serbian nationalist was a threat to them.