You would have likely read of “Putinomania” in Serbia. The Russian prime minister’s huge popularity with certain sections of the Serbian population and political class manifested itself during Putin’s visit to Serbia earlier this week.  The centuries-long friendship between the two nations and all that was on the agenda as was, of course, Russian investment.

 NATO enlargement wasn’t on the menu for any of his meetings, Putin’s aides said. But Serbian MPs helpfully asked exactly about that at one meeting, so theRussian prime minister had to address the issue. Putin reportedly said he could not see why Serbia would ever want to join NATO as Russia sees NATO enlargement as a “direct threat.” If Serbia did join NATO, it may be required as a member to deploy NATO rockets on its soil, some of them aimed at Russia! Shock and horror would not end there as this would force Russia to aim some of its own rockets at Serbia, Putin said, according to his ambassador in Belgrade. Funny that, eh!

Tihomir Loza

Tihomir Loza is deputy director of Transitions Online. Email: tihomir.loza@tol.org

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