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Serbia EU Entry Hinges on Compliance With Political Criteria

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said in an interview with Sputnik Serbia that the Balkan nation could meet all technical conditions of EU membership by 2020 but its compliance with political criteria was the key.

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BELGRADE (Sputnik) — The European Union granted Serbia candidate status for membership in 2012. Belgrade was asked to implement a number of reforms as well as effectively recognize Kosovo as an independent state. The current Serbian government maintains that its relations with Kosovo should not be a factor in EU membership talks.

"The EU is a political project, hence the presence of political chapters in our accession talks. We could complete the technical part [of requirements] by 2020. But the membership hinges on the political decision."

He said Belgrade hoped to receive financial assistance from the European Union, estimated at billions of euros allocated over a span of several years.

"More than10 billion euros over 5-6 years, in non-repayable funds for development projects," the minister replied when he was asked what benefits Serbia hoped to achieve from its membership in the 28-nation bloc. "Who else would give us these funds at the moment? No one."

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