08:02 GMT15 April 2021
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    Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said that while Russia is hardly happy about the fact that his country is about to become an EU member, Moscow never regarded it as a threat to its relations with Belgrade.

    "I’m thinking about whether Serbia’s EU membership might damage our economic ties with Russia," Nikolic remarked during an interview with a state RTS TV channel.
    According to Nikolic, Belgrade must seek to dissuade Brussels from making any demands of Serbia regarding the country’s relations with Russia.

    "The EU today often acts as a supranational state. If it could, the EU would force the five states [Greece, Slovakia, Cyprus, Spain, Romania] to recognize Kosovo’s independence. They don’t recognize Kosovo, and they don’t get expelled from the EU. We could follow their example," Nikolic remarked, referring to the fact that one of the possible conditions for Serbia’s EU membership might be the official recognition of Kosovo’s independence.

    Nikolic also said that his country requires support from all sides, including Russia.

    "When I asked Vladimir Putin for help, Russia blocked a UNSC resolution on the Srebrenica massacre. If someone in Serbia were to decide and ignore Russia’s existence completely, one has to wonder who would then help us with a UNSC veto power next time we need it," he said.

    Earlier during a meeting with Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Chepurin, Nikolic said that Serbia “remains committed to Russia.”

    "This is the will of our people, and us politicians exist for the people and not vice versa," he said.

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    Tags:
    EU membership, cooperation, relations, European Union, Tomislav Nikolic, Serbia
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