Updated 7:31 p.m. Moscow Time
BELGRADE, October 16 (RIA Novosti) — Serbia will never impose any sanctions on Russia, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Thursday.
"Serbia has proved that it is a friend of Russia…even in hard times," Vucic said following talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is on a brief official visit to Serbia, a European Union candidate country.
"Serbia has never imposed sanctions against Russia…and will not do it in the future," Vucic noted.
On Wednesday, the Council of the European Union said in a press release that EU candidate countries Montenegro, Iceland and Albania, as well as Ukraine, have aligned themselves with the third round of EU sanctions against Russia.
Liechtenstein and Norway have aligned themselves only with the sanctions targeting certain individuals.
The third round of restrictive measures imposed by the European Union in September includes sanctions against whole sectors of the Russian economy and measures targeting certain individuals.
The European Union, the United States and their allies started introducing sanctions following Crimea's reunification with Russia in March. The sanctions targeting the country's banking, defense and energy sectors, as well as a number of individuals, were introduced over Russia's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis – a claim that Moscow has repeatedly denied.
Russia responded to the sanctions with a ban on food imports from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed that Western sanctions undermine economic stability in the world and hurt not only the target country but also those using the measure.