Serbia blasts top NATO general over Russia

In this photo taken Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin inspects an Mig 29 fighter jet at the military airport Batajnica

In this photo taken Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin inspects a Mig 29 fighter jet at the military airport Batajnica,

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia's defense minister has blasted NATO's general for saying that one of the biggest threats for Europe is increasing Russian influence in the Balkans.

Aleksandar Vulin said Monday that U.S. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti's statement last week during a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing represents the most "dangerous" anti-Serb statement since the Western military alliance bombed the country in 1999.

The American general has said he has seen an increase in Russian influence over his year and a half as supreme NATO commander in Europe.

He has said "Russia's at work in the Balkans. I think we've kind of taken our eye off the area."

Serbia formally wants to join the EU, but its leaders have been working with Moscow in fostering both military and political ties.