Serbia "expected to agree with EU policy"

If the conflict in Ukraine escalates, Serbia will face more resolute requests to show that it agrees with the EU, which it strives to join.

Source: Tanjug

This is according to Austrian Ambassador to Serbia Johannes Eigner.

Serbia is expected to gradually harmonize its policy with the EU's and complete the process in its full at the point when it is about to join the EU, he stated.

If the conflict in Ukraine escalates, Serbia will face stronger and more resolute requests to show that it agrees with the EU, which it strives to join, he told the daily Politika from Belgrade.

When asked whether Austria would fight for the South Stream gas pipeline project, which would go to Austria as well, he responded that the project was in Austria's interest because it was meant to bring natural gas to Europe, but that it had to be completely in line with EU regulations.

Russia and the European Commission will have to negotiate the terms, he says, adding that until an agreement is reached, it will be very difficult to continue the project. Eigner does not know what stand the new energy commissioner will take on the project, but thinks it is unlikely that Europe will improve its opinion of it should the Ukrainian crisis worsen.

Commenting on what Austria can do to speed up Serbia's EU integration, he states that his country will host the 2015 EU and Western Balkans summit and will, therefore, promote enlargement and regional cooperation in the Western Balkans.

Everyone knows that Serbia has chosen the EU as its path, so the closer it cooperates with the EU, the greater its chances of gaining membership, he noted.

Austria believes it is in its interest to complete the European unification process, and it is not complete until the countries of the Western Balkans become EU members, Eigner concluded.

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