Serbia expects that by the time it joins the European Union, Brussels will soften its approach towards Russia. This was stated in an interview with Izvestia by the Ambassador of the Republic in Moscow Miroslav Lazanski.
Commenting on the call of Brussels to Belgrade to join the sanctions against Moscow, he stressed that Serbia will never resort to restrictions on the Russian Federation.
“In connection with the call of the head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell to Serbia to join the sanctions regimes as actively as possible, we can say that from the point of view of our position, sanctions are not politics, but the absence of politics, and that Serbia – this was also stated by the president [Сербии] Alexander Vucic will never impose sanctions on the Russian Federation, ”the diplomat said.
Lazanski pointed out that Serbia understands best what sanctions are, since Belgrade has been subjected to them for years by Western countries and knows how it affected the lives of Serbian citizens.
Earlier on April 26, Borrell said the EU is calling on Serbia to join the community’s sanctions regimes in preparation for EU accession. Meanwhile, Vucic, following the talks, indicated that Serbia cannot act in solidarity with all EU concepts without exception. “I expect difficulties here,” he said, noting that Serbia and the European Union “agreed to increase the level of harmonization with the EU declarations,” but on the Kosovo issue “there will be some exceptions due to the difficult position”.
Last year, the Serbian president pointed to the end of negotiations on the country’s accession to the EU in 2024 and promised the country’s membership in the union until 2026. He also stated that Belgrade would never impose sanctions against Russia, even in case of pressure.
Serbia’s accession to the European Union began in 2005, when Serbia was part of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. In May 2006, Montenegro separated from the union, while Serbia continued negotiations with the EU. In 2008, the Serbian authorities signed an agreement on stabilization and association with the EU; in 2009, Serbia applied to join the European Union.
On March 1, 2012, Serbia received the official status of a candidate country for accession to the EU. In December 2013, the EU Council approved the decision to start negotiations on Serbia’s accession to the organization; in January 2014, the first intergovernmental conference was held in Brussels. Vucic has repeatedly noted that Belgrade is committed to close and friendly cooperation with Russia, but maintains a course towards joining the European Union.
Read the full version of the material in the latest issue of Izvestia dated May 4.