18:18 GMT +314 December 2017
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    The National Museum of Serbia in Belgrade, with the monument to Mihailo Obrenovic, Prince of Serbia, seen in the center.

    EU Promotes Stability in the Balkans 'at the Expense of Serbia'

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    The European Union has been inconsistent in its policy toward the Balkans, and Serbia in particular, when it comes to promoting stability and security in the region, Serbia's former Ambassador to Italy Sanda Raskovic Ivic told Sputnik.

    "In theory, the European Union stands for stability, but it has promoted it at the expense of Serbia's interests and the Serbian people living in other former Yugoslav republics, primarily Bosnia where Republika Srpska is a factor which has prevented the establishment of a unified state," the MP said.

    Sanda Raskovic Ivic also said that Belgrade would have to acknowledge Kosovo's independence at some point in time at least tacitly, if not directly.

    "Serbia will also have to establish cordial relations with Kosovo. To me this sounds like schizophrenia since you cannot establish friendly relations with yourself," she added.

    Natasa Dragojlovic, the coordinator of the National convention on the European Union (NCEU), pointed out that the European Union appears to be promoting closer relations with Serbia, but this process is not really moving anywhere.

    "New chapters have been added to the negotiating dossier with the EU, but there is stagnation in many areas. Some processes are ongoing, but the real state of affairs is the following: those living in the Balkans are increasingly less inclined to support the EU, while all the crises plaguing the bloc have affected the Balkans," she said.

    Dragojlovic suggested that double standards are the main reason behind the Serbs becoming less enthusiastic about the European integration project.

    The analyst said that there are frozen conflicts in the Balkans which have been kept from erupting due to international agreements, including the 1995 Dayton Agreement which helped to end the Bosnian War.

    "A frozen conflict could easily unfreeze at any time. It all depends on those responsible for the stability and security of the region," she said. "For us the European Union is a political and economic issue, but we are important to them only in terms of security. They want their borders to be secure. They would not provoke tensions [in the Balkans]."

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    stability, security, European Union, Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo
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