Aleksandar Vulin was appointed head of the Serbian Security and Intelligence Agency (BIA). Photo/ocnal.com
WASHINGTON – The United States (US) is not happy with the choice of Serbian spy chief and intends to suspend intelligence cooperation until Serbia rethinks its “personnel solution”.
The claim was disclosed by local CNN affiliate, N1, on Friday (13/1/2023), citing an unnamed diplomatic source.
Aleksandar Vulin was appointed head of Serbia’s Security and Intelligence Service (BIA) in early December.
He was previously in charge of the Interior Ministry, but swapped places with former BIA Bratislav Gasic as part of a Serbian cabinet reshuffle.
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According to N1, the US has repeatedly signaled to Serbia that it does not agree to the appointment, most recently at a meeting between Ambassador Christopher Hill and Secretary of State Ivica Dacic last week.
A “credible source” told N1 that Hill threatened a “deep freeze” in cooperation between BIA and the US intelligence community, noting that Vulin presented Washington with “a huge problem.”
Hill allegedly told Dacic that the US preferred to work with the Home Office, to which Dacic replied that he would arrange for Gasic to visit Washington soon.
The CNN affiliate claims the US considers Vulin pro-Russia. As evidence, N1 points to several meetings Vulin had with Nikolay Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s National Security Council, while he was in charge of the police force.
They also brought up accusations by Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza that Vulin had wiretapped him on behalf of Moscow.
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