The Pro-Russia Agenda of Aleksandar Vulin: Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister

Aleksandar Vulin is a Serbian politician and lawyer. Currently, he has been Acting as Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia since 2024. He performed as the director of the Security Intelligence Agency from 1 December 2022 until 3 November 2023. He has been called the “man of Moscow.” In August 2022, Vulin visited Moscow and informed to Russian authorities, “Serbia is the only state in Europe that didn’t present sanctions and was not part of the anti-Russian hysteria.”

On 30 January 2024, Vulin was granted the Order of Friendship by Russian President Vladimir Putin. He welcomed the award at the headquarters of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service in Moscow, in a ceremony executed by SVR chief Sergei Naryshkin, who noted Vulin’s “continuous steps to comprehensively develop Russian-Serbian relations and collaboration between the Russian and Serbian special services”.

On 11 July 2023, the US Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on Vulin, accusing him of “corrupt and destabilizing actions that have also facilitated Russia’s malign movements in the region”, including “authorisation for a drug trafficking network and backing for illegal arms shipments involving Slobodan Tesic.

Vulin is deemed “Moscow’s man” within the Serbian Political leadership. As interior minister, he visited Moscow in August, a periodic visit by a European state official that underlined Belgrade’s conclusion to distance itself from the West’s measures against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. He afterwards told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that “Serbia is the only state in Europe that didn’t introduce sanctions and was not part of the anti-Russian hysteria.”

Serbia, which is formally pursuing European Union membership, has for years been drifting away from its EU-aligned course and has been leaning towards traditional Slavic partner Russia, as well as China. 

Vulin himself expressed Serbia should discard its EU membership purpose and instead turn to Moscow. He advocates the composition of a “Serbian World” — reflecting the “Russian World” — uniting Serbs under one flag directed by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. He has also repeatedly pilloried Serbia’s neighbouring states and their leaders and has been banned from entering Croatia, an EU member state.

Last year, Vulin is also said to have formed a “working group” with Nikolai Patrushev, the influential secretary of the Kremlin’s Security Council, to oppose “colour revolutions” — a series of mass protests which have sometimes led to the overthrowing of authoritarian regimes mostly in the Middle East and Asia.

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