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Washington Ponders Imposing Sanctions on Serbia For Russian Weapon Purchases

U.S. Sanctions Against Serbia Will Not Have Desired Effects

Submitted by InfoBrics, authored by Paul Antonopoulos, Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies…

With Russia delivering another round of the Pantsir S1 anti-missile defense system to Serbia on Tuesday, EU and U.S. officials have reacted. Both Brussels and Washington have sent their warnings to Serbia, with Washington even threatening sanctions against the Balkans country. For the U.S., they are hoping to prevent Serbia from acquiring the Russian made S-400 missile defense system as it will severely restrict American hegemony over the Balkans. While Brussels expects Serbia to comply with the commitments it made when it entered the EU’s strategic priority, the U.S. State Department urged countries to abandon purchases from Russia as it could lead to sanctions.

“In discussions with senior government officials, we have repeatedly expressed concern that Serbia is buying Russian military equipment, including the purchase of the Pantsir system,” a State Department spokesman said.

The European Union previously said that in order to progress on the road to European integration, “Serbia needs to align its foreign policy with the EU’s foreign policy, in accordance with the negotiating framework.” Although Brussels is not making threats of sanctions against Serbia, it is leveraging a potential Serbian admission into the EU. This leverage would not be effective however as only 42% of people in Serbia are in favour of EU membership.

However, this is not the first time that U.S. administration officials are threatening to activate Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017, which deals with the possibility of imposing sanctions on individuals and legal entities having business cooperation with the security and intelligence sectors of Russia, Iran and North Korea. In November last year, Thomas Zarzecki, director of the U.S. State Department’s Task Force 231, arrived in Belgrade immediately after it was announced that Serbia had purchased the Pantsir system. Even before the arrival Zarzecki, it was announced by Matthew Palmer, U.S. Secretary of State’s representative for the Balkans, that sanctions may be imposed against Serbia.

Zarzecki left Belgrade last November and no sanctions were imposed on Serbia. Now, after Serbia acquired the Pantsir and they have begun arriving in the country, the possibility of imposing U.S. sanctions is being activated again. This becomes difficult as there is no doubt that the State Department will be pushing to punish Serbia for acquiring Russian weaponry. However, it is still within easy living memory that the U.S. led a NATO campaign of destruction against Serbia in 1999, killing over 500 civilians and destroying vital civilian infrastructure like bridges, industrial plants and private businesses. This campaign of destruction has left widespread anti-American sentiment that still persists to this day. Paradoxically, most NATO members today, with the exception of the U.S., has a more positive attitude towards Serbia and would accept that the purchase of military equipment from Russia is a national decision of Serbia and that Belgrade is entitled to that decision.

The President of the Foreign Policy Committee of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress, Eliot Engel, publicly rebuked one of the U.S. generals serving in NATO over the Alliance’s stance on Serbia. Engel criticized the position on Serbia’s military neutrality and intensive cooperation with Russia. As the Pantsir system is arriving in Serbia, interests for the S-400 system will intensify. Other states have received threats of sanctions if they purchase the S-400, such as India, and it can only be expected that Serbia will receive such warnings, too. Therefore, these discussions of sanctions because of the Pantsir system is a preventative warning for Serbia not to purchase the S-400.

However, the Serbia of the 1990’s is drastically different to the Serbia of today. Today, Serbia is making a recovery from the 1990’s and both Russia and China have achieved Great Power status and are willing to oppose Western interventionism and support independent states such as Serbia.

The U.S. State Department’s position certainly has elements of dissatisfaction over Serbia’s co-operation with Russia and China. NATO, on the other hand, praises the level of co-operation with Serbia and is ready, at least in words, to respect military neutrality. With the 1990’s remembered for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the advent of the U.S. dominated unipolar world, things have changed so much in the world that a once weak Russia and China who were, now are capable of maintaining their own positions.

With Russian and Chinese support, Serbia has enough strength to resist U.S.-led pressures that imposed sanctions could have minimal impact on the country, and rather create opportunities to push towards financial independence away from the U.S. dollar. It is for this reason that even Washington will be contemplating whether imposing such sanctions would be worth the risk of pushing another country towards financial independence as has happened in Iran and Venezuela.

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Pindos
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Pindos

Arm yourselves Serbs. Arm yourselves!

Haeul
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Haeul

Vucic is a traitor, and his regime is as corrupt as they come. He has sold or stolen everything the Serbs have managed to create over the last two centuries of freedom – he just sold Serbia’s last bank to the Americans for less than three times the profit (!) it made last year alone – and is now preparing to recognise Kosovo and Metohija. This rat built his career on patriotic and pro-Russian rhetoric, but his actions make it clear that he has zero loyalty to his own country and people.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Serbian President Vucic is a good friend of Vladimir Putin. He will take part in Moscow’s victory parade, on the 9th of May 2020.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

TASS: Seventy-five Serbian troops to march in Victory Day parade on Moscow’s Red Square — BELGRADE, February 17. /TASS/. Russia expects Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and troops from the Balkan country to take part in the military parade on Moscow’s Red Square on May 9 to mark the 75th anniversary of the Victory in WWII, Russian Defense Minister said on Monday. “This year, we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two. The heroic efforts of our ancestors who fought shoulder to shoulder ensured the joint victory over Nazis and their accomplices,” the Russian defense chief… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
Guest

TASS: Serbia’s participation in 2020 Victory Parade in Moscow will be great honor, says minister BELGRADE, August 19. /TASS/. The invitation for the Serbian military to take part in the 2020 Victory Parade on Moscow’s Red Square will be a great honor for Belgrade, Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin told national television. “To begin with, it is a great honor. It is a great honor for us to be invited by the Russian leadership to take part in the parade. We will decide which military unit and how many soldiers will take part in the parade, whether it will be… Read more »

bogsik
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bogsik

As if any of other post soviet states was diffrent in all of these respects!!!
All leaders of EU slavelandia are national traitors who sold their souls to USrahell and/or EU fascist, and some were still on Kremlin books!

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Welcome to the club of sanctioned states, Serbia! We are the better and more successful half of the world.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

TASS: Russian Pantsyr-S1 systems arrive in Serbia – defense minister — According to the Serbian mass media, two out of six Pantsyr-S1 systems reached Serbia via Bulgaria’s airspace BELGRADE, February 22. /TASS/. The first batch of the Russian Pantsyr-S1 surface-to-air missile/gun systems has arrived in Serbia, Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin said on Saturday. “The first batch of the Pantsyr-S1 system has arrived at the Batajnica airfield,” the ministry’s press service quoted him as saying. “Purchasing this defensive weapons, one-of-its-kind in the region, Serbia continues to strengthen its defense might and deterrence potential. This way we enhance our capability to… Read more »

Tom Welsh
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Tom Welsh

Washington seems to oppose the sale of Russian or Chinese weapons to anyone, anywhere. Why? Apparently for exactly the same reason they are persecuting Julian Assange.

They resent any attempts by anyone to limit or stop their illegal wars of unprovoked aggression. In the parallel universe where they live – with its parallel codes of ethics – they are entitled to use unlimited murderous violence to get whatever they want, anywhere and at any time, against anyone.

Ugh...
Guest
Ugh...

“Washington Ponders Imposing Sanctions on Serbia For Russian Weapon Purchases”

Of course. What else are they capable of pondering of besides war and sanctions? Oh yes, sexual perversions and mental illnesses.

Ray Joseph Cormier
Guest

The US, the biggest supplier of the Weapons of Death and Destruction this World has ever produced, uses bully criminal extortion tactics to keep it’s protection racket going.

RICO
Guest
RICO

Washington’s a bona fide MAFIA operation now, isn’t it?

oldandjaded
Member

Now??? It HAS been, starting with the Marshall plan.

T W Huning
Guest
T W Huning

Uncle Shmuel waging geopolitical warfare on the world with sanctions. The game of geopolitics is sheer madness. Sanctions kill.

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