BELGRADE, December 30. /TASS/. Belgrade’s Eternal Flame monument is a symbol of allied and brotherly relations between Serbia and Russia, it was vandalized by those who are against this union, Serbia’s Minister of Innovations and Technological Development Nenad Popovic said on Wednesday.
"I condemn in the strongest possible terms the vandalization of the Eternal Flame monument at the cemetery of the liberators of Belgrade and I hope that those behind it will be found and held responsible soon. This is a monument to freedom and Serbia’s fight for freedom, this is a symbol of the alliance and brotherhood of the Serbian and Russian nations. Those who vandalized the monument attempt to falsify history and proclaim the real victims of Nazism, the Serbs and the Russians, aggressors, while branding real aggressors and their accomplices as victims. This attack is an attempt to destroy the union of Russia and Serbia and the great relations between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Russian President Vladimir Putin," the minister said.
The Eternal Flame monument in Belgrade was vandalized by unknown perpetrators in the early hours of December 30. The perpetrators threw paint and cement on the monument and wrote an offensive phrase on it. TASS reports that this is not the first time the monument was desecrated. The Eternal Flame was first put out by unknown persons on December 21. The Russian Embassy condemned the incident, adding that it expects the corresponding reaction from the city’s law enforcement bodies.
The first Eternal Flame in Serbia was lit on December 15 during a solemn ceremony on the territory of the memorial to the liberators of Belgrade, attended by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.