Russia's foreign minister called off a trip to allied Serbia because surrounding countries wouldn't let him use their airspace
- Russian foreign minister
Sergei Lavrovtried to fly to Serbia from Russiaon Monday.
- He cancelled the trip after three countries refused him entry to their airspace, state media said.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov called off a trip to Serbia because several neighboring countries wouldn't let him use their airspace.
Lavrov was set to visit Serbia on Monday but axed the trip when Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Montenegro — all of whom are NATO member states — refused to let his plane enter their airspace, the state-run TASS news agency reported.
Combined with other bans on Russian aircraft over Europe, this left Lavrov's plane with no route to Serbia.
A Russian foreign ministry source told the state-run Interfax news agency: "Our diplomacy has yet to master teleportation."
In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, dozens of countries closed their airspace to Russian aircraft as part of widespread sanctions led by the US, UK, and EU.
However, Serbia, which has very close cultural ties with Russia, is dependent on Moscow for all its energy imports and has not joined the EU in sanctioning Russia, despite the fact that is is currently applying to join the bloc.
Serbia was promised access to natural gas by Lavrov last month.
Serbia's neighbors, Romania, Croatia, Albania, Kosovo, Hungary, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Montenegro, all banned Russian aircraft following President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
Despite the global backlash to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Lavrov has been able to make several trips abroad since the start of the invasion on February 24, most recently to Saudi Arabia earlier in June and India in April.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine marked its 100th day on Friday.
Speaking on Monday, Putin promised to extend his attack on Ukraine should the West supply the country with the long range weapons it says it desperately needs to repel the Russian assault.
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