Home Politics Vulin resigns as Serbian security chief, three months after US sanctions

Vulin resigns as Serbian security chief, three months after US sanctions

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BELGRADE – The director of the Security and Intelligence Agency of Serbia (BIA), Aleksandar Vulin, announced on Friday that he was resigning from his post. He said that “the United States and the European Union demand his resignation as a precondition for not imposing sanctions on Serbia.”

“We are asked to recognize Kosovo, abandon the Republic of Srpska and, by imposing sanctions on the Russian Federation, stop being a sovereign country and nation,” Vulin said.

He added that his resignation would not change US and EU policy towards Serbia, but would slow down new demands and pressures.

“They didn’t get sanctions against Russia, they didn’t get Serbia’s recognition of Kosovo, but they did get a Serbian head. I refuse to participate in any anti-Russian and anti-Serb hysteria, whatever the reason, to stop caring about the Republic of Srpska and its survival, and to stop believing in the inevitability of unification of the Serbs and the creation of the Serbian World. I refuse to renounce the policy of military neutrality and fraternity with Russia and China,” Vulin said.

Aleksandar Vulin presented his resignation at the start of the electoral campaign for the parliamentary elections scheduled for December 17 in Serbia. Vulin’s resignation was part of the demands of the “Serbia against violence” protests which have lasted for 26 weeks in Serbia.

In July, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Aleksandar Vulin, current director of the Serbian Security Intelligence Agency and former Minister of Interior and Defense. Vulin’s actions furthered corruption within Serbian government institutions and included his involvement in a drug trafficking network.

Vulin’s name is also publicly associated with the “Jovanjica” scandal. After the owner of this plantation, Predrag Koluvija, was arrested in 2019 and, with his associates, formally charged in 2021 for the unauthorized production and discharge of 1.6 tons of cannabis on the Jovanjica property, a video from 2015 resurfaced in which Vulin, as Minister of Labor, went to Jovanjica and picked vegetables there with the aim of promoting employment in agriculture.

It was later established that Koluvija benefited from the assistance of members of the security services of the Republic of Serbia in the production and trafficking of drugs, against whom legal proceedings were also initiated. Among them were members of the Military Intelligence Agency, part of the Defense Ministry, then headed by Vulin, who denied any involvement in the affair. He stated in 2021 that the Jovanjica case had nothing to do with Predrag Kolujvija, but that the aim of this case was to arrest the brother of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Andrej Vučić, whose name was linked to that of Kolujvija (and who was not officially suspected of any wrongdoing) – for the president to resign.

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