13:48 GMT +330 March 2017
    A man walks past by billboards reading Russia, left and Serbia, in Belgrade, Serbia, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014

    How EU is Pressuring Serbia to Abandon Relationship With Russia

    © AP Photo/ Darko Vojinovic
    Get short URL

    European Parliament rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister signaled Thursday that the EU remains committed to enlargement in the Western Balkans. However, Eurocrats regard the Russo-Serbian relationship as a stumbling block in Belgrade's way to EU accession.

    European Parliament rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister warned Belgrade Thursday that Serbia's intention to maintain close relations with Russia would not be tolerated by Brussels in the long run.

    "The European Parliament sent a signal to Serbia through its [January] resolution that a dual approach to Russia could not be tolerated in the long run," McAllister said at the press conference in Belgrade dubbed "The European Union's Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy and the Western Balkans," as quoted by Balkan Insight.

    McAllister also urged Belgrade to reduce its "dependency" on Russian oil and gas, claiming that Brussels wants to see Serbia abiding by the EU energy market rules.

    Ahead of the conference McAllister clarified his position in an interview with Europe Western Balkans media outlet.

    "The Serbia-Russia relations have often been debated. Serbia has traditionally strong economic, social and cultural ties with Russia," he admitted.

    However, he claimed that since Russia "unilaterally changes European borders" and tries to "expand its influence" over its neighbors, Belgrade "needs to make strong efforts in aligning its foreign and security policy to that of the EU, including the policy on Russia," referring to the EU sanctions regime imposed on Moscow.

    Much in the same vein Nathalie Tocci, adviser to EU Foreign Policy and Security Chief Federica Mogherini, described Serbia's prospects for EU membership in her interview with Tanjug.rs:

    "In the accession process, a country is expected to meet all accession criteria and align itself with common European rules through negotiations, which implies both foreign policy and security. In that regard, I see the relationship with Russia as the biggest challenge for Serbia — as it gets closer to EU membership, Serbia will be expected to also get closer to the EU in terms of its position regarding Russia, but that is something that cannot happen overnight," she said as quoted by the media outlet.

    Nevertheless, the Serbian government does not want to abandon its ties with Moscow, insisting that it intends to maintain fruitful diplomatic relations with both Russia and the West.

    "I…wish to underline that in the process of decision-making Serbia had a continued consistent stance that at this very stage of the accession process it could not uphold all EU decisions. In some cases Serbia did not align with the EU positions, respecting its national interest concerning the issue of preserving its territorial integrity and the need to maintain traditionally good relations with other partners as well, first and foremost with Russia and China," Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic told the press conference on Thursday.

    He stressed that Serbia has proven to be a "reliable and true" partner of the EU and bemoaned the fact that despite Belgrade's strategic foreign policy orientation toward full EU membership, the process "has not had particularly live dynamics so far because in the last two years we opened only two negotiating chapters."

    At the conference Dacic underscored that the time has come to reexamine what was done to Serbia back in 1999, and threw into question Kosovo's self-proclaimed sovereignty. He recalled that US Assistant Secretary of State told him that the US has been investing in Kosovo's independence for 20 years.

    "Then I think the mistakes must be sought not only in our system," he stressed, as cited by B92.net.

    He emphasized that neither Russia nor China recognize Kosovo's independence.

    Later, commenting on the EU officials' remarks Dacic told Serbian daily newspaper Novosti, as cited by Balkan Insight: "It could not be expected from Serbia to introduce sanctions on its friends."

    In his interview with Sputnik former Serbian diplomat Zoran Milivojevic noted that Serbia has its own national interests and the right to protect them.

    "There are no reasons [for Serbia] to reconsider its relation with other nations, especially with United Nations Security Council permanent members and traditional friends of Serbia, Russia or China," Milivojevic told Sputnik.

    The diplomat stressed that it is inappropriate for Brussels to set such conditions on the very early phases of Serbia-EU negotiations, referring to the fact that Belgrade and the EU are yet to discuss the 31st chapter of EU accession related to Serbia's foreign policy. Only when the chapter is opened the issue of the Russo-Serbian should be brought into the spotlight, he stressed. 


    Serbia Lists 'Development of Close Ties With Russia' Among Top Priorities
    Russia, Serbia Sign Military Cooperation Plan for 2016
    Serbia's EU Accession Talks Stalled by Anti-Russian Sanctions, Not Croatia
    EU-accession, alliance, cooperation, Bombing of Yugoslavia, NATO, European Union, Ivica Dacic, China, United States, Russia, Serbia
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment

    All comments

    • avatar
      tony p
      Its the EU that's shifting borders.
    • avatar
      Serbia towards EU = next Ukraina or Bosnia

      Or why not Croatia? With all Tourists and German Brittish banks buying all coast while Croats are more poor today then 5 years ago.

      The EU "Gifts" are debts and no profit.

      Serbia is doing better outside EU empire, Britania voed OUT
    • avatar
      and the EU representative's name could be that of polish Donald Tusk?
      With the recent NATO's Warsaw summit in Polen where the polish president sided on the photographs with the cpo USA (current president of.....) and Stoltenberg of NATO, the polish geographical spot just seemed as some part of the USA chessboard and with the Turkish recent happenings, it just looks like some other part of the USA chessboard and as that wasn't enough the France spot is too a part of it.
      Definitely the European countries are the USA chessboard played against Russia.
    • Mensa
      And this is how EU takes your independence.
    • avatar
      Everyone in Serbia sees that "negotiations" with EU are not negotiations but list of demands from EU, which are almost all against Serbia's national interests.

      To recognize Kosovo, province which was taken out of Serbia by illegal NATO/EU aggression for example, which Mr. McAllister forgot to mention. He also forgets to mention that South Stream (read: cheaper Russian gas) has been denied to poorer South European countries, Serbia included, while at the same time EU is getting same Russian gas through North Stream, and even works on building another one, North Stream 2. That colonial attitude is best seen in the case of Greece. While that country is raped for its external debt, nobody ever mentioned Belgium or Denmark, whose debts are much higher than that of Greece.


      While talking about EU foreign policies, he also forgets to mention that EU supported coup d' etat in Ukraine, supported terrorists against government in Syria and done illegal aggression on Libya, creating chaos and instability all over Middle East.

      He also forgets to mention that EU, is run by undemocratic army of unelected officials in Brussels, issuing directives without any possibility of accountability.

      He also forgets to mention that EU's corrupt elite doesn't have foreign policy, since that policy is written not in Brussels, but in Washington. EU's elite is not living in the real world: French president pays his hairdresser 10.000 euros per month, while France is burning. Mr. Barosso is going to Goldman Sachs while his country struggles through economic hardships.

      EU doens't need anybody who thinks with his own head, as any other undemocratic entity it needs brainless, submissive and obedient servants. But that attitude will be EU's downfall.

      At the same time, Serbia will maintain good and friendly relationships with countries like proven friends. Including Russia and China.
    • avatar
      What did the EU and NATO do for Serbia in the Nineties?

      An interesting article from Info Wars, from 2008 and the script behind Saakashvili and no doubt so many other EU leaders, mainly from any nation close to Russia.

      THE PUPPET MASTERS BEHIND GEORGIA PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI... www.infowars.com/the-puppet-masters-behind-georgia-president-saakashvili
    • avatar
      anne00mariein reply toGlamoureus(Show commentHide comment)
      Glamoureus, EU the Union that just keeps taking, but never gives.
    • avatar
      mzungu in Africa
      The open question is if Nato/EU have sufficiently bribed/threatened Serbian decision makers into submission.
      That's the normal agenda of enlargement.
    • avatar
      Do Serbian people even want to be part of the EU? Oh, that's right, who asks them!?
    • C Han
      As a source of revenue for Serbia is Russia to lend some land to stockpile some S400 and tactical missiles.
      Increase recreation for russian tourism and some nuclear research center.
      Feasible and will allow Serbia to stay a good friend.
    • avatar
      Rats desert a sinking ship. The exodus has begun. Why does Serbia want to board the sinking ship. Remember, the "security guard" of this sinking ship has already assaulted you and your families and caused the separation of members of your family. Are you guys a set of Masochists?
    Show new comments (0)