10:51 GMT +319 July 2019
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    A worker arranges flags of Serbia and EU on a lamppost in Belgrade (File)

    Serbian Defence Minister: 'We Are Tired of EU, Not Going to Beg for Membership'

    © AFP 2019 / ALEXA STANKOVIC
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    In March, Serbian Ambassador to Russia Slavenko Terzic noted that Serbia's accession to the European Union would be a long process, adding that it was hard to predict how much time it would take.

    Serbia is tired of the European Union, however, the country still views joining the bloc as a strategic objective, TV Pink broadcast Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin as saying on Thursday.

    "The EU leadership occasionally can be heard saying that they are tired of expansion, and it's high time to clearly state if the EU is interested in accepting Serbia. They say: 'We are tired of expansion.' And we are tired of you! We are tired of your policy of constantly altering goals, constantly introducing new terms and conditions, we are not condemned to become part of the European Union, the EU is Serbia's strategic aim, but we are not going to beg for it," the defence minister stressed. 

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    He also emphasised that Belgrade has an alternative to the EU, noting that if the bloc was unwilling to accept Serbia, there are other alliances and nations that will cooperate on equal terms. However, Vulin added that "this should not mean that we will become part of some other alliance as there is nothing that would be organised as the EU." 

    Aleksandar Vulin's statements follow Serbian Ambassador to Russia Slavenko Terzic's comments made in March that Serbia's accession to the bloc is a long process and it is hard to estimate how much time it would take. 

    Serbia received a full candidate status from the European Union in 2012, while the accession talks started in 2014. So far, only two out of 31 chapters, the conditions for membership in the bloc, have been closed, while 16 of them have been opened. Despite its aspirations to join the European Union, Serbia does not plan to become a member of NATO, as it adheres to a policy of strict military neutrality.

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    accession talks, NATO, Aleksandar Vulin, EU, Serbia
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