A decision by the United States to sanction the head of the Serbian Security and Information Agency (BIA), Aleksandar Vulin, will affect the relationship between the U.S. and Serbia, Luke Coffey, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute analysing national security, defense and foreign policy cautioned on July 12.
In an interview with the Voice of America, Coffey said that it’s an unexpected turn of events as the U.S. had been quite friendly towards Vulin while he was a defense minister.
“it’s an indicator of how quickly politics can change. And a signal of a new kind of engagement by the U.S. in the region, including readiness to use certain means to advance U.S. interests,” the Hadson’s senior researcher explained, adding that the ball is in Belgrade’s court now and that the U.S. decision was connected to the tense relationship between Serbia and Kosovo.
“I am confident that the Government of Serbia will express its discontent with a symbolic gesture. I’m not sure what else it can do about it though. It is a very serious matter if your name appears on the U.S. sanction list,” the analyst says. Coffey doesn’t expect Vulin to be removed from the leading post in the Serbian security agency, but the Serbian political elites are bound to “wonder who might be next.”