Tadić on Serbia's "four pillars of diplomacy"

BELGRADE -- President Boris Tadić says that Serbia has four pillars of foreign policy: EU, Russia, U.S. and China.

Tadić is seen in China recently (FoNet)
Tadić is seen in China recently (FoNet)

In an interview for Belgrade daily Politika, Tadić said that the principal goal of that policy remains joining the EU, and that "strategic partnerships" with America, Russia and China "are not getting in the way of that goal".

"I consider that Serbia today has completed its foreign policy doctrine. At the start of the 21st century, the world saw two important changes. First, there was unequivocal domination of the United States of America and completion of the EU economic space, with the emergence of the new European currency."

"The second change came after the world financial crisis when China completely clearly stepped up as the future world economic leader," said Tadić.

The president continued to say that Serbia must take these facts into account and create its foreign policy accordingly.

He also stated that "in the meantime, Russia renewed its economic and foreign policy potential before the world economic crisis, with high oil and natural gas prices".

"Russia has been a great friend in its support for Serbia's defense of our country's territorial integrity in Kosovo and Metohija, which, apart from our historic friendship, has led us without a doubt into particularly close ties with Russia."

Tadić believes that the most important segment of the Serbia-China economic ties will be to attract Chinese investors.

"They are being fought over by everyone in the world and the important circumstance is that a new doctrine has been formulated in the Chinese economy, the doctrine of going abroad. The joint statement from President Hu Jintao and myself about the strategic partnership makes the Chinese investments much more likely."

He mentioned the project of building a bridge over the Danube in Belgrade as one "concrete consequence" of his recent trip to China, and added that another important job would be to build a duty-free industrial zone and "new port capacities".

The president added that there is "no doubt that in the years and decades to come, China will take the leading position in the world economy, and that, by definition, it's useful to have a strategic partnership with such a country".

Tadić was also asked to comment on Russian PM Vladimir Putin's statement, made recently on the anniversary of Russia's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.

Putin said on the occasion that from the moral and ethnical standpoint, comparison of those two territories and Kosovo is justified. Asked whether this was a hint that Russia's position on Kosovo and Metohija would be redefined, Tadić said: "For Serbia, the most important thing is that we have direct and constant communication with Russia's institutions, and that the Russian policy toward Kosovo and international multilateral institutions is not changing."

"Another opportunity to confirm this will present itself during President [Dmitry] Medvedev's visit to Serbia. Such a statement can be viewed in the context of the relationship with the United States and the political moves made by the U.S. in the past two years, and in no way in the context of [Russia's] relationship with Serbia, that is, Kosovo," said Tadić.

The president also revealed that Serbia does not intend to join the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), "a movement that itself needs to be reformed".

"On the other hand, we have ties of profound friendship that bind us to many NAM countries. All the rational reasons leads us toward cooperation with the Non-Aligned Movement. For this reason, we suggested that the 50th anniversary be marked in Belgrade," concluded Tadić.