AP NEWS

The Latest: Serbian president: Spying scandal video is real

November 21, 2019

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The Latest on spying scandal video (all times local):

9:45 p.m.

Serbia’s president has confirmed that a video posted on social networks shows a Russian agent bribing a retired Serbian officer.

But Aleksandar Vucic said Thursday the spying scandal will not jeopardize the Balkan country’s friendship with Russia.

Moscow has cautioned that the video should be carefully examined before any conclusions are drawn.

The video apparently shows the Russian military intelligence agent giving a Serb officer a bag during a meeting in Belgrade. Later, the Serbian takes out an envelope with money from what seems like the same bag.

Serbia is a rare ally of Moscow in Europe despite formally seeking European Union membership. The Balkan country has refused to impose Western sanctions against Russia over Ukraine and has vowed to stay out of NATO.

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6:40 p.m.

Russia is cautioning that a video posted on social media that apparently shows a Russian agent bribing a Serbian one should be carefully verified. 

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the scandal a “cooked up provocation.” She called for “all the facts” to be checked.

Serbia has opened an investigation into spying allegations and called a meeting Thursday of the Balkan country’s top security body.

The video was posted on YouTube on Nov. 17. It apparently shows the Russian military intelligence agent giving a senior member of Serbia’s security service a bag during a meeting in Belgrade. Later, the Serbian takes out an envelope with money from what seems like the same bag.