BELGRADE, April 30 (RIA Novosti) – Belgrade will never impose sanctions against Russia and will remain neutral on the crisis in Ukraine, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said Wednesday.
“We respect the territorial integrity of every country that is a member of the EU, including Ukraine, but on the other hand, Serbia shall never introduce any sanctions against Russia. It is not only a country with a friendly relation towards our country, but our economic and political partner as well. Also, Russia has never introduced any sanctions on Serbia,” Dacic said in an interview with the Serbian newspaper Blic.
The Serbian foreign minister, who assumed his post this week after having earlier led the country’s cabinet, said the country’s stance will be voiced at the Council of Europe.
Several countries within Europe, including the Czech Republic and Slovakia, have also expressed skepticism about additional sanctions on Russia as they could have a negative impact on the EU’s economy.
The fate of Crimea, formerly an autonomous republic within Ukraine and part of Russia since last month, has triggered the most serious geopolitical showdown between Moscow and the West since the end of the Cold War.
Russia, which has been recently targeted by US and EU sanctions against both individuals and companies, has repeatedly warned that talking in the language of sanctions is “inappropriate and counterproductive” and warned its Western partners about the “boomerang effect” that sanctions would have.