Russian Foreign Minister Maria Zakharova said European countries around Serbia have closed their airspace to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s plane, which was expected to arrive in Belgrade on Monday.
On Sunday evening, Russian news agencies quoted Ms. Zakharova, “Today (…), the countries surrounding Serbia closed the communication channel, refusing permission to fly over Sergey Lavrov’s plane, which was bound for Serbia.” For the Italian TV channel La7.
The Russian delegation was supposed to arrive in Belgrade for talks. She added that the member states of the European Union and NATO closed their airspace.
According to Serbian newspaper Vecernje Novosti, these include the three countries neighboring Serbia: Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro.
The Russian Interfax news agency quoted a Russian diplomatic source as saying that the Russian minister’s visit was cancelled.
This source explained that “the Russian diplomat has not yet learned how to teleport.”
For his part, the Vice-President of the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, Konstantin Kosachev, denounced Monday morning the closure of the airspace of Mr. Lavrov’s plane as a step directed “against Russia as a country and Serbia. as a country.”
Mr Kosatchev wrote on Telegram messaging: “I hope the reaction will be very common and serious, not only in the form of diplomatic protests, but also will translate into practical and concrete actions.”
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Sunday that the situation surrounding the visit was “exceptionally complicated” due to the impossibility of overflying certain countries and that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic himself was working on organizing the visit.
Sergei Lavrov has been targeted since February 25, the day after Ukraine was invaded, by EU sanctions, as has Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Lavrov was scheduled to meet in Belgrade with the Serbian President, his Serbian counterpart Nikola Silakovic and the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Porverej.
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