“I cannot say that it (the protest) was a proxy attack because there were many ordinary people there…but whether there is a proxy conflict in Serbia…there is one, no doubt about that, East and West,” he said, speaking to Reuters at his office in Belgrade.
Serbia is a candidate to join the European Union, its single biggest trade partner and investor. It is militarily neutral but maintains ties with NATO and has purchased weapons from its member states.
However the Balkan nation is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas and has also bought weapons from Russia. China is a major investor, mainly in mining and infrastructure.
Although Serbia has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the United Nations, it refused to join sanctions against Moscow. Both Beijing and Moscow support Serbia’s opposition to the independence of Kosovo, Belgrade’s former southern province, over which it fought a 1998-99 war.