Serbian President Vucic Comments On 'Spy Scandal' Involving Russia

BELGRADE (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 22nd November, 2019) Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, in an address to the nation, commented on the so-called spy scandal involving Russia, saying the Serbian authorities saw the former deputy military attache at the Russian Embassy in Serbia giving money to Serbian officers three times.

The address followed a publication of an article in the Serbian Blic tabloid, which suggested that the former deputy military attache, Georgiy Kleban, had attempted to recruit a senior Serbian officer for carrying out espionage activities.

"I would like to let you know that the Republic of Serbia had multiple times documented contacts between Lt. Col. Kleban and Serbian military personnel on photos, videos and audio recordings," Vucic said on Thursday.

The president added that other Russian security services members had also been recorded while communicating with Serbia's military personnel but this information was never shared with the public.

According to Vucic, the Serbian authorities had documented 10 cases of communication between Kleban and undercover sources.

"These cases include three cases where Lt. Col. Georgiy Kleban gave money [to the Serbian officers]. We have it on photos, videos and audio recordings. We have completed the collection of data on his and other people' contacts with nine other people who are our armed forces' members," Vucic continued.

Vucic commented on the footage involving Kleban, which was released by Serbian media outlets, by saying that it had been recorded on December 24, 2018, in Belgrade's Zemun district. The president said that then, the Russian officer met with resigned Serbian colonel Z. K..

According to Vucic, Serbian security services have spied on Z.K. since 2012 over his contacts with Croatia's counterintelligence service. The president noted that when spying on Kleban and Z.K. during their meeting, the Serbian specialists saw other people spying on them, who subsequently left the area in an unknown direction.

Vucic insisted that Belgrade remained committed to cooperating with Russia, considered it a brotherly state and was grateful to Moscow for its support on the international arena.

Vucic has discussed the situation involving Kleban during a meeting with Russia's Ambassador to Serbia, Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko.

The president said that during their meeting he only asked the ambassador "why?"

"I did not see any logic in all this," Vucic said.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has commented on the media reports on Kleban by saying that Moscow-Belgrade relations were special and were based on partnership. Peskov noted that nothing could affect this.