Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic has suggested for the first time that Belgrade could reverse course and impose sanctions on Russia, one of the EU's key demands for Serbia to make progress in EU membership talks. He noted that his country will be governed primarily by what is in its interests, writes Euractiv.
"We condemn the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and have voted so in international bodies. Another question is whether we will impose sanctions against Russia. This is not a question of time or terms, this is a question that concerns our political and economic interests," he said in an interview. Euractiv Serbia.
The minister noted that since Russia's temporary occupation of Crimea in 2014 and until today, Serbia has not joined Western sanctions, as the country assessed that it would be "not in its interests."
"If something changes to the detriment of Serbia's interests, our decision will be adjusted accordingly, because we will evaluate every moment which decision is best for our economy, for our position in the world and for the citizens of Serbia," Dacic explained.
He emphasized that EU membership remains a "priority" for Serbia, but at the same time criticized the bloc for delaying enlargement.
"This narrative, which we often hear, that the Balkans can create new problems if they are inside the EU, is rather a pretext because the EU has lost its appetite for enlargement. This issue does not bring votes to European politicians, and therefore they are marginalized him," said Dacic.
Another sign that the narrative about Serbia's traditional ally Russia may be changing is that Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, who attended the EURACTIV Serbia launch event, spoke of "Russian aggression against Ukraine." This wording is used for the first time by representatives of the country. She also praised the EU as the biggest investor and donor in Serbia.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in an interview with Bloomberg that his country cannot support a full-scale invasion of Russia, as it recognizes that Crimea and Donbas are Ukrainian territories.