A man passes by a billboards reading ‘Russia’ , left and ‘Serbia’ in Belgrade, Serbia.InternationalIndiaAfricaBELGRADE (Sputnik) – The Movement of Socialists, a part of the governing coalition in Serbia, on Saturday urged the dismissal of Serbian Economy Minister Rade Basta over his new calls for sanctions against Russia. “The Movement of Socialists reminds the Serbian public of the call for the dismissal of Rade Basta from the government. He acted earlier as an ill-mannered Russophobe, and now, before the IMF delegation, he showed that he is also undisciplined and opposes the state … We call on Prime Minister Ana Brnabic to dismiss this incapable instigator and defend the honor of the institution she leads,” the party said. Basta, a member of United Serbia conservative party, assumed office in October 2022. The chairman of United Serbia, Dragan Markovic, said that his party was against introducing sanctions against Russia.Earlier in the day, Basta reportedly said at a meeting with representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that he supports President Aleksandar Vucic, but “does not understand why he does not impose sanctions” against Russia. Last month, the minister urged the government to make up its mind on the issue of sanctions against Russia, claiming that Belgrade is already paying a high price for its refusal to support the Western restrictions. In October 2022, Vucic made it clear that Belgrade would not impose sanctions on Russia until the very existence of Serbia was threatened.“As long as there is no existential threat to Serbia, to its citizens, we will not [impose sanctions], we will pursue an independent policy which we have defined by decisions of the security council,” Vucic said.WorldWest to Demand Serbia Recognize Kosovo If Belgrade Slaps Sanctions on Russia, Vucic Says8 January, 14:02 GMT”If we find ourselves in such a situation, if I see and understand that we are faced with an existential threat, then I will address the citizens of Serbia and tell them that we must do so. You are asking me whether this moment has come, I think it has not. I am proud that for 240 days we have been pursuing an independent policy,” he said in a televised appearance.The Serbian president added that he “is not looking for an excuse to impose sanctions,” saying that he can “find five million reasons” not to do so.”I seek a moral and legally unimpeachable position for the country that I love the most and lead by choice of its citizens,” Vucic said.
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