"Free trade agreement with Russia until EU accession"

BRUSSELS -- The free trade agreement that Serbia has with Russia will remain in effect until Serbia's accession to the EU, Serbia's negotiator Tanja Miščević has said.


"We have been told by the EU that all free trade agreements that Serbia has with third-party countries, including the agreement with Russia, will remain in effect until the moment of accession," Miščević told reporters in Brussels, where she is attending the screening on Chapter 30 of the negotiation process, which deals with foreign trade.

The main topic of Thursday's discussions with European Commission experts was aligning Serbia's foreign trade relations to the joint EU policy, she explained.

Miščević said that she is pleased with the progress of the discussions so far and that topics such as trade in weapons and dual-use goods have also been addressed.

Serbia's chief EU negotiator also expressed her satisfaction with the European Commission report on Serbia's progress in European integrations, published on Wednesday.

"We are still in the first stage of accession talks, but once we start opening chapters, things will become more complicated for Serbia," she warned, voicing hope that the next report will be positive, too.

Stevan Nikčević, state secretary of the Ministry of Trade, who headed a task force in the screening for Chapter 30, said that he expects that Serbia will pass legislation on distribution of genetically modified organisms, whereby it would meet the conditions for joining the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"It is something that we must do, because without WTO membership there is no EU membership either," he said.