Serbia is on the European path, that is Serbia’s strategic goal and task. Serbia will not be imposing sanctions on Russia. Full stop! – Serbian Prime Minister Alexandar Vucic has told ‘Tanjug’ Agency after Brussels urged Belgrade to align its policy on Russia with the EU.
Immediately after, Moscow warned that Serbia’s EU membership would result in a loss of economic privileges in its ties with Russia.
“The more we improve our economy, the better our position will be. I believe that Serbia would never have to choose between Russia and the EU” Vucic said,adding that pressure coming from all sides had made things difficult but that Serbia would be able to withstand it.
Earlier this year in Belgrade, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said that Washington sees no contradiction with Belgrade having good relations with both Russia and the United States.
“We understand that Serbia has long ties with Russia. We don’t see any contradiction with Serbia having a good relationship with Russia and a good relationship with the U.S. – we would never ask friends or allies to choose. The U.S. will always support Serbia on its European route” Nuland said.
Since the 1999 NATO bombing of Belgrade and other areas of Serbia in response to Milosevic’s ethnic cleansing policy in Kosovo, Serbia has come a long way out of its isolation gaining candidate country status for EU membership in 2012, opening accession talks a year later.
Serbia’s Prime Minister Alexandar Vucic is seen as a pragmatist who wants to take his country into the EU but without spoiling the traditional alliance Belgrade boasts with Moscow.
During a visit to St. Petersburg last week, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said that “Serbia will never join NATO; that does not depend on the European Union, it depends on Serbia. A decision to join the NATO is a decision to join a military alliance, which is not what we need“.
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