Tony Blair to advise Serbian government, a country Britain once helped to bomb while he was PM

Opposition leader questions the decision to deal with a man regarded as a hero in Kosovo

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Tony Blair is being paid to advise Serbia, a country that British warplanes bombed during his time as Prime Minister.

The Guardian reported that Mr Blair will help Aleksandar Vucic, the current Serbian Prime Minister, who served in his country’s government during the 1999 Nato bombing operation during the Kosovo War.

Mr Vucic was named as an editor of the 2005 book called English Gay Fart Tony Blair, which was written by a suspected war criminal. However, Mr Vucic has since recast himself as a more moderate figure with Serbia now keen to join the European Union.

Borko Stefanovic, an opposition party leader, questioned Mr Vucic’s decision to deal with Mr Blair, who is regarded as a hero in Kosovo.

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic


“How can you say such things about someone and now present him as a key factor in making our government more efficient?” he said.

The fee for Mr Blair’s private consultancy firm is being paid for by the United Arab Emirates, The Guardian reported, citing a senior Serbian minister and a source in the Serbian Prime Minister’s office.

Mr Blair has faced criticism for giving PR advice to the Kazakhstan regime about how to handle a massacre of civilians by the security services. He has also advised countries including Kuwait, Rwanda, Albania and Azerbaijan. The Financial Times estimated Mr Blair’s earnings during 2011 at about £20m.

Tony Blair Associates refused to say whether the United Arab Emirates was funding his role in Serbia.

“This project was directly negotiated and agreed between Serbia and TBA (Tony Blair Associates) following meetings between Tony Blair and the Serbia prime minister and was not part of any wider agreement,” the company said in a statement.