By JOVANA GEC
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The United States, the U.K. and Germany have rejected allegations that the three countries financed protests that have shaken the Balkan nation’s populist government. The embassies of the allied countries issued a joint statement on Friday that described the accusations as “damaging.” The statement came a day after Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic claimed that Western organizations backed protest groups to weaken the populist administration of President Aleksandar Vucic. Brnabic made the allegations while announcing that her government had stopped a lithium mining project the Rio Tinto company planned to undertake in western Serbia. The government’s decision was seen as a bid to defuse environmental protests ahead of Serbia’s general election in April.