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Serbian leader rejects Kyiv’s demand to halt Medvedchuk’s Russian organization branch activities

Dragan Stanojević
Dragan Stanojević

Dragan Stanojević, leader of the Serbian branch of Viktor Medvedchuk’s Russian civic organization “Another Ukraine”, rejects Kyiv’s demands to halt the branch’s activities in Belgrade, he said in an interview with RFE/RL on Jan. 20.

Medvedchuk is a personal friend of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and former Ukrainian MP, accused of treason.

The Ukrainian Embassy in Belgrade sent a protest to the Serbian Foreign Affairs Ministry in early December 2023, in which it explained the request to suspend the branch’s activities of the Russian organization.

Stanojević called the idea of suspension “absurd,” saying he is not personally acquainted with Medvedchuk, but is willing to welcome him in Serbia.

Read also: Pro-Russian politician heads anti-Ukrainian organization’s branch in Serbia, journalists reveal

“In essence, they want to prohibit me from helping Ukrainians who seek assistance,” he said

“The fact that they (the Ukrainian authorities) have a war with Medvedchuk is their problem. No one will close anything. I will, of course, continue with this.”

Medvedchuk’s associates offered Stanojević to head the branch, and Medvedchuk’s ideas are “close” to him, he said.

“Medvedchuk does not finance the Serbian organization, just so you understand,” he said.

“The organization does not even have its own account. Although, perhaps, it is necessary to contact (Medvedchuk) to obtain financial assistance.”

Read also: ARMA terminates contract with Ukrnafta for Medvedchuk’s gas stations, announces new tender

Ukrainian diplomats justified their call to cease the movement’s representation activities based on Article 29 of Serbia’s law on economic entities. This article prohibits the use of the country’s name in the official name of a legal entity without permission from the respective foreign state.

In the summer of 2023, Russia officially registered a political project called “Another Ukraine”as a public organization, with Medvedchuk serving as the head of the council.

The Schemes journalists reported that the movement began organizing public anti-Ukrainian events in Russia. The project involved political commentators from pro-Russian closed Ukrainian TV channels, local council deputies from the now-banned Opposition Platform - For Life party, individuals accused of state treason and separatism, and political technologists who managed to avoid punishment and flee to Russia.

Read also: Ukrainian professor leaked government plans to Yanukovych-era minister in 2020 – report

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine