FM: When did Serbia say it wants to be part of Russia?

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic has stressed that he does not understand a statement made by a senior official of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Source: Tanjug
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

Earlier on Monday, the official, Michael Roth, who was in Belgrade, said that "if Serbia is determined to be a part of the European Union and not of Russia, then Germany supports it in this direction." Roth also said that Serbia was "expected to gradually align its foreign and security policy with the EU."

"Serbia and Russia are traditional friends, but when did Serbia express its intention to become a part of Russia? What kind of vulgarization of Serbia's foreign policy is this?," Dacic asked in a statement issued by his ministry late on Monday.

The minister added that while he was "very pleased with the development of bilateral relations and the support of Germany" he considered Roth's words "inappropriate and offensive, to say the least."

Dacic said that joining Western sanctions against Russia was not a simple issue of harmonizing his country's foreign policy with the EU, "but a vital issue for us, because Russia is a country that opposes recognition of Kosovo's independence in the UN, while Western countries, outside the dialogue in Brussels, are doing everything to force everyone else to recognize Kosovo."

"Which country would work against itself? Serbia definitely won't be, either. As for the famous of (EU) membership criteria, we have seen a country that has expelled more than 200,000 Serbs and did not allow them to return, a country that prohibits the Cyrillic alphabet, which rehabilitates fascists and denies the Holocaust, now blocking Serbia on its European path. Are these the criteria that Croatia has passed?," the statement said, and added:

"We are used to everyone inviting us to go through a catharsis and face up to our past, but - will someone also say it in Zagreb, Pristina, Sarajevo - or only in Belgrade?"

Politics

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