Bulgaria, Macedonia and Montenegro close their airspace to prevent Sergei Lavrov from traveling to Serbia

On Monday, June 6, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denounced the decision of Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro, the three NATO member states, to close their airspace to prevent them from flying to Serbia.

“The Unthinkable Happened”Urgently summoned, Mr. Lavrov said during an online press conference. “A sovereign country has been deprived of the right to exercise its foreign policy”He added, denouncing the action “flagrant”. Mr. Lavrov was scheduled to travel to Serbia for a two-day visit. He was supposed to meet with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, his counterpart for foreign affairs Nikola Silakovic, and the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Porverej, in Belgrade.

“If the visit of the Russian foreign minister is seen in the West as a near-universal threat, then apparently everything is very bad there.”Mr. Lavrov quipped. He added that he invited Mr. Selakovich to visit Russia ” as soon as possible “. “No one can destroy our relations with Serbia”Mr. Lavrov said.

Sergey Lavrov said again that Russia will not follow suit “Western Partners” : And as far as possible responses are concerned, we will not do anything that will further complicate the bonds between peoples. »

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also responded to the cancellation of this flight: ” Such hostilities against our country can cause certain problems (…)But they cannot prevent our diplomacy from continuing its work. »

For his part, Konstantin Kosachev, Vice-President of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian Parliament, denounced the following: “NATO Approach” Orientation Against Russia as a state and Serbia as a state and demanded a ‘A very common and severe reaction’ who would translate Through practical and tangible measures.

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Serbia’s mysterious position

Serbian Prime Minister Anna Brnabic said on Sunday that the situation around this visit was so ‘Exceptionally complex’ Because it is impossible to fly over certain countries. She had specified that the Serbian president was personally organizing the visit.

In Belgrade, the Serbian Minister of the Interior, Aleksandar Vulin, expressed his lack of understanding. He said in a statement: “A world in which diplomats cannot pursue peace is a world in which there is no peace. Those who prevented the arrival of Sergei Lavrov do not want peace, dream of defeating Russia. (…) Serbia is proud that it will not be part of the anti-Russian hysteria, and the participating countries will have time to feel shame. »

As for Bulgaria, its foreign minister It did not give diplomatic permission to fly Russian planes over Bulgarian territory.”defend the decision “In line with the EU sanctions regime against Russia”Is it written in a press release.

Sergei Lavrov has been targeted since February 25, a day after the start of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, for EU sanctions, as well as President Vladimir Putin. At the end of February, the head of Russian diplomacy, who was due to take part in the UN Human Rights Council and the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, was already forced to cancel his visit to Switzerland due to the sanctions that prevent him from flying over Europe. union.

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Le Monde with Agence France-Presse and Reuters

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