Rio Tinto getting kicked out of Serbia following Novak Djokovic’s deportation from Australia


Tables have turned, it seems, as Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic convened a special meeting ,starting tomorrow at 5 p.m. CET, TANJUG (Serbian News Agency) has learned from the Prime Minister’s office.

After the session, Brnabic will address the media at 6 p.m.

It is expected that yesterday’s statement by the Prime Minister, that Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) will no longer be in Serbia in a few weeks, will be confirmed.

How is the fall of Rio Tinto in Serbia connected to Novak Djokovic?

Here is how Rio Tinto, Australian PM and Novak Djokovic are connected.

On December 27, 2020 Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic said that Rio Tinto ‘Jadar Project’ won’t be closed.-“That Project stands and won’t move”- Vucic confirmed.

One day later, on December 28th, 2020 Brnabic said that Serbia cannot say “NO” to Rio Tinto:””When you give an investor the right to research, if he invests his money and finds nothing, he can get out of that project and owe nothing to anyone. If they find something and fulfill all the conditions in accordance with the law, then you can’t say “No,” Brnabic told reporters at the Serbian Parliament.”

Ten days after this statement we witnessed Novak Djokovic Visa scandal in Australia. The man who many in Serbia blamed for Djokovic’s ordeal is the PM of Australia, Scott John Morrison.

Five years ago, when there was a West Australian proposal to increase tax on BHP and Rio Tinto, Morrison rebelled.

He claimed that it was a bad idea, while Brandon Grylls, the leader of the Nationalists, advocated that tax in order to increase the profit by about $1.5B.

In addition, Morrison’s very close associate John Kunkel was an advisor to Rio Tinto and head of the department for relations with the Government, and he spent two years there.

BHP and Rio Tinto have agreements with the WA government that include a small “production rental fee” of 25c a tonne. The fee has not changed since the 1960s.

Five years fast forward, the people in Serbia have hit the streets to save the Jadar Valley from the extraction and production of lithium, having in mind the consequences Rio Tinto had on the environment wherever it mined.

Novak Djokovic was the biggest name to support these protests.

That is why there are more and more comments that Djokovic is just a collateral damage and a “scapegoat” of a political struggle.

Rex Patrick, independent senator for South Australia noted on Sunday:”I keenly await the decision reasoning of the Full Federal Court in the Djokovic case. Perhaps the biggest loser will be Rio Tinto.”. Looks like he was right.