Pro-Ukraine protest held in Serbian capital Belgrade

Serbia facing growing pressure for reluctance to sanction Russia over Ukraine war.

Pro-Ukraine protest held in Serbian capital Belgrade

A pro-Ukraine demonstration was held in Serbia’s capital Belgrade on Sunday.

It was organized near the famous Hotel Moskva in one of Belgrade’s main squares by a group called Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Serbians Against the War.

Serbia, which is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas and oil, has so far refrained from joining other regional countries in sanctioning Moscow for the Ukraine war.

An EU candidate for over a decade, Serbia is facing growing pressure for its neutrality. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was the latest to deliver such a message when he visited Belgrade on Friday, pressing Serbia to end its balancing act between Russia and the EU and adopt the bloc’s sanctions if it hopes to become a member.

Carrying Serbian and Ukrainian flags, the protesters condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine and called for an immediate end to the war.

In a brief speech, Peter Nikitin, one of the organizers, emphasized the devastating humanitarian consequences and far-reaching economic impact of the war.

He also called on Moscow to release all Ukrainian prisoners of war.