Anti-Russia sanctions "would be disastrous for Serbia"
Imposing sanctions on Moscow would be disastrous above all for Serbia itself, Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Chepurin has told the daily Vecernje Novosti.Source: Tanjug
Chepurin also said that "the tendency has changed" and that he expects Russia's relations with the EU and the U.S. to be "revitalized - but based on equal rights."
"We see that the Serbian leadership is not considering that option at all. And many EU countries are also looking for the possibility of abandoning the sanctions," he said.
Asked whether Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent statement about the West recognizing the will of the people in Kosovo, but not in Crimea, "announced a change in the position of Moscow toward the status of Kosovo and Metohija," Chepurin said that "the analogy was obvious."
"President Putin is talking about 'double standards' - the westerners are tuning each solution to suit their own interests. Unlike Kosovo, Crimea was not taken away after a war and bombing," the Russian ambassador said.
Asked whether he expected the staff of the Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center (RSHC) in Nis, southern Serbia, to receive diplomatic immunity like that enjoyed by NATO members, Chepurin said that "drawing parallels between the Russia-Serbia cooperation in the humanitarian sphere to the military cooperation with NATO is not proper."
"As long as the issue of the status of the RSHC remains open - its solution depends on Belgrade. We think it (would) positively influence the work of the center. At the same time, Russia does not, and will not not exert any pressure here," Chepurin concluded.