Ukraine has rejected allegations from Serbia that the country’s secret service is behind a series of hoax bomb threats on Air Serbia flights to Russia.
Several flights to Moscow and St. Petersburg have been delayed or forced to return to Belgrade after anonymous bomb threats were made since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has claimed that the foreign intelligence services in Ukraine and an unnamed EU nation are responsible, without providing evidence.
Other Serbian officials have alleged that the threatening bomb hoax emails have been sent to Serbia from either Ukraine or Poland.
But Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko has dismissed the accusations as “baseless” and “untrue”.
“[Vučić’s] statements about Ukraine’s alleged involvement in bomb threats to Serbian air carriers flying to Russia are false,” Nikolenko said in a statement.
Serbia has voted in favour of UN resolutions condemning Russia’s bloody carnage in Ukraine but has so far rejected joining international sanctions against its allies in Moscow, citing its neutral status.
Only Serbia’s national airline and Turkish air companies have not joined EU flight sanctions against Russia.
Vučić has said although the Air Serbia flights to Russia are not making a profit, they will continue “as a matter of our principle”.
Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesman has expressed disappointment that Serbia has not yet supported the 27-nation bloc’s sanctions.
“Tough sanctions and unity of the democratic world can stop this war,” Nikolenko said in a statement.
“We call on Belgrade to stand up for the truth and fully join in supporting Ukraine and upholding the values on which a united democratic Europe has been founded.”