President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic has dismissed as baseless reports by certain Serbian media outlets about an alleged ‘Russian trace’ in Belgrade protests.
"I have no proof of this whatsoever," Vucic told TV Pink on Sunday when asked about Russia’s possible role in the protests. Commenting on the cancellation of a meeting with the Russian Ambassador to Serbia scheduled for July 8, the president said it had been cancelled for technical reasons. "For technical reasons, I am meeting with the Russian ambassador tomorrow," President Vucic said.
The president said, however, that he was "equally unhappy" about the activity of certain US, German and Russia media, since he saw no difference between them, TASS reports.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry slammed as fake news the reports about the "Russian trace" behind unrest in Belgrade.
"Certain online media outlets released reports on alleged ‘Russian trace’ behind the unrest in Belgrade on July 7-8," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
"Apparently, the authors of that fake news are trying to keep up with well-known conspiracy stereotypes of their sponsors who seem to be seeing ‘the hand of Moscow’ everywhere. That low-profile paid news pursues the sole goal of casting a shadow on the Russian-Serbian partnership," the ministry added.
On Tuesday, President Aleksandar Vucic announced the curfew would be re-imposed in Belgrade from Friday evening until Monday morning to combat a spike in coronavirus cases. Serbians did not support their leader’s decision and took to the streets without waiting for the end of his address. After far-right groups had joined the peaceful protesters, the rally against the curfew spilled into an attempted storm of the building of Serbia’s parliament. Clashes erupted between the police and protesters and continued into Wednesday.
The Serbian national television reported that nationals of Israel and Kyrgyzstan were detained on Thursday for taking part in the riots. The Alo daily said that the riots were joined by mercenaries from the US private military company Blackwater, who were the Serbs who had earlier fought for the Ukrainian army in eastern Ukraine.