Iran and Serbia distance themselves from Russia’s annexations

Aleksandar Vucic

The Serbian President explicitly regards Crimea and Donbass as Ukrainian territories.

(Photo: Bloomberg)

Berlin Iran and Serbia, two countries with traditionally good relations with Russia, do not recognize the annexation of Crimea and eastern Ukrainian territories. This was stated publicly by high-ranking politicians in both countries.

Iran will not recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Donbass, the country’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in an interview with Turkish TV channel TRT World. “We recognize the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states under international law, and for this reason, despite the excellent relations between Moscow and Tehran, we did not recognize Crimea’s secession from Ukraine. We did not recognize the separation of Luhansk and Donetsk from Ukraine because we insist on a unified principle in international politics,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

The Iranian foreign minister also pointed out that his country is opposed to the military conflict in Ukraine, but at the same time claimed that the fighting started primarily because of “provocative actions” by NATO and other Western states.

Iran is a close ally of Russia: Tehran has supplied Moscow with Shaded-136 drones, also known as “kamikaze drones,” blamed for heavy destruction in Ukrainian cities. Iran’s leaders claim the supplies came ahead of Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

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However, Western secret services are convinced that Iran continued to supply drones to Russia even after the start of the Ukraine war. According to the Moscow business newspaper Vedomosti, Russia and Iran are also discussing the creation of a joint cryptocurrency.

Ukraine War: Serbia withdraws from Russia

Another ally is also moving away from the Kremlin. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic considers Crimea and Donbass to be Ukrainian territories, stating in an interview with Bloomberg: “We have said from the beginning that we cannot support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. For us, Crimea is Ukraine, Donbass is Ukraine – and it will stay that way.”

He added that there are “traditionally good relations” between Moscow and Belgrade. But that doesn’t mean that Serbia supports “every single decision or most of the decisions that come out of the Kremlin”.

Russia annexed Crimea under international law in March 2014. At the end of September 2022, a ceremony was held in the Kremlin at which President Vladimir Putin signed treaties on the incorporation of the self-proclaimed so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics and the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions into the Russian state.

More: Putin promises Russians a long war in Ukraine

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