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    Russia Never Opposed Balkan States' Integration In Europe – Ambassador to Serbia

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    Russia's Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Chepurin told Sputnik on Thursday that the Balkans should be a field of cooperation between Europe and Russia, noting that Moscow has never stepped against the Balkan countries' participation in the European integration projects.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia has nothing against participation of the Balkan states in the European integration projects, according Chepurin

    "Personally, I said several times that Russia had never raised the issue of the Balkans’ participation in the European integration, out attitude to that is absolutely neutral. Everything depends on how the Balkan states assess the economic need to join the European Union themselves," Chepurin said.

    The ambassador pointed out that Russia wanted to develop constructive business relations with Europe, the Balkans and the whole world.

    "We must turn Europe and the Balkans into a field for cooperation, not battlefield. It is better to leave Russia alone … and not to make obstacles to the positive development of our cooperation with the Balkan states," Chepurin said.

    He said that Montenegro’s accession to NATO was an example of attempts to unite other states against Russia.

    On Monday, Montenegro has officially become a party to NATO during a ceremony in Washington, DC. The accession ceremony was marked by the handover of the instrument of accession from Montenegro’s Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic to US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon.

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