Serbian Economy Minister Calling for Russia Sanctions Reportedly Dismissed


BELGRADE (Sputnik) – Serbian Economy Minister Rade Basta has been dismissed at the request of First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, as well as United Serbia conservative party chairman Dragan Markovic, Serbian media reported on Thursday, citing a source.

In a request sent to Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Dacic and Markovic said that Basta had been given a deadline to resign from all the positions to which he had been nominated by their coalition, which included the position of minister, media said.

The Serbian cabinet said Thursday that Brnabic sent a proposal to oust Basta to the country’s parliament.

“The head of the government of the Serbian Republic, Ana Brnabic, told the government members today that, at the suggestion of the coalition partners — the Socialist Party of Serbia and United Serbia — the proposal to remove Economy Minister Rade Basta from office has been sent to the National Assembly,” the cabinet said in a statement.

In April, Basta urged the government to make up its mind on sanctions against Russia, saying that Belgrade is already paying “a high price” for not supporting the Western restrictive measures against Moscow. The Movement of Socialists, a junior member of the ruling coalition, demanded Basta’s dismissal over his statement.

In early June, the ruling Serbian Progressive Party’s Executive Board chair, Darko Glisic, told Basta to “shut his mouth” as the minister persisted with his calls to impose sanctions against Russia and then demanded that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic arrest right-wing activists. United Serbia responded by stripping Basta of his party membership and position as its deputy chairman.

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