BELGRADE – EU expects Serbia to fulfill obligations

Brussels expects Serbia to act in accordance with the strategic goal of EU membership and fulfill the obligations it has assumed within the process of EU accession, the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell has said.

In a reply to an MEP’s question about the steps the European Commission would take to limit the damaging influence of third countries in the Western Balkans, especially that of Russia in Serbia, and whether the Commission believed Serbia belonged in the EU, Borrell indicated the need for Serbia to gradually harmonise its foreign policy with that of the European Union, N1 TV reported on yesterday (10 September).

The EU diplomat also cited the need for strengthening regional cooperation and promoting good neighbourly relations, especially within the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.

European Commission spokeswoman Ana Pisonero told N1 TV that Serbia had identified European integration as a strategic priority and that it had to harmonise its actions with its promises.

When asked about the EU’s pressure on Serbia to cancel its participation in the military exercise in Belarus, with the host country and Russia, Pisonero replied that it was clear that, in keeping with the negotiation framework, Serbia was expected to gradually harmonise its policy toward third countries with that of the EU.

The Serbian government decided on 9 September to suspend all military exercises and activities with all of Serbia’s partners in the next six months after Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin said that Serbia was under “horrible and undeserved pressure” from the EU.

The Belarus defence ministry previously reported that the Serbian army, together with Russian troops, would take part in tactical military manoeuvres hosted by Belarus in the second half of September. (EURACTIV.rs  betabriefing.com)

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