Serbia cannot strengthen ties with Russia, says European Commission

Serbia cannot strengthen ties with Russia, says European Commission

The European Union believes that Serbia, as a state negotiating its accession to the EU, cannot strengthen its relations with Russia. Reasons given: Russia’s intensification of clashes, aggression and crimes in Ukraine, European Commission spokesman Peter Stano said in Brussels on Monday (September 26).

As part of Serbia’s EU accession process, the Union calls on Serbian leaders to ensure better coordination of the country’s foreign policy actions with those of the Union, Stano told BETA. The EU also calls on Serbia to respect international values ​​and Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

Regarding the agreement between the Serbian and Russian foreign ministries on the continuation of consultations, Mr. Stano said that this is a very clear sign of Serbia’s willingness to do so “Strengthening ties and further promoting relations between Serbia and Russia”suggesting that this approach was a source of “serious concerns”.

This was also said by the spokesman for the Union’s High Representative for EU External Affairs, Josep Borrell “The EU has made it very clear that its partner countries, especially those negotiating to join the Union, including Serbia, cannot maintain relations with Russia as usual. It is a regime responsible for so many crimes and misdeeds. »

US Ambassador to Serbia Christopher Hill said on September 26 that he expected Serbia to clarify what kind of cooperation document it would have with Russia as a result of talks held during the session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York have signed.

At a press conference in Belgrade, Mr Hill said so “The content of the document is not entirely clear”but that“Right now nobody should sign anything with Russia”.

The Ambassador also said that the United States supports Serbia on its way to the EU and in its efforts to eliminate energy dependence on Russia, “based on blackmail”but that the aid is proportionate to what Serbia has requested.

The head of the EU delegation to Serbia, Emanuele Giaufret, told reporters in Belgrade on September 26 that the EU expects this from Serbia “stands with the Union and defends European values ​​and international law”.

“By deciding to sign a cooperation agreement with Russia, Serbia is sending the opposite message, despite its position on not recognizing the results of a Russian-organized referendum in the occupied territories of Ukraine.”said Mr. Giafuret.

Foreign Ministers of Serbia and Russia, Nikola Selaković and Sergei Lavrov, signed on September 23 – on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York – a plan for consultations between the two foreign ministries in the next two years. The Serbian Ministry described the document, sigborn in the offices of the Russian Mission to the UN, as being technical nature. »

Reference: www.euractiv.fr

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