"West wants Serbia to join sanctions against Russia"

Western countries are asking from future PM Aleksandar Vučić that Serbia "joins the EU sanctions against Russia because of the crisis in the Crimea."

Source: Beta, Tanjug, Večernje novosti

This is according to an article in Friday's edition of the Večernje Novosti daily.

"Specifically, the Serbian government is being asked to join in the form of a statement Brussels and Washington in the public condemnation of the Kremlin, but also in formal moves the EU and America will undertake against the authorities of Russian President Vladimir Putin," according to the newspaper.

Sources claim that "the culmination of this diplomatic pressure" be on March 31, when Aleksandar Vučić and Ivica Dačić will be in Brussels for the Kosovo dialogue and meet with EU's Catherine Ashton.

The daily also reported that "Western diplomats do not want, in case of a second Cold War between East and West, for Serbia to have a position in which its economy would use all the advantages of its special ties with Russia."

Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkić said in a statement for the newspaper that Serbia will not take hostile steps toward Russia, and that every citizen of Serbia understands that.

"Membership in the EU is one of Serbia's foreign policy priorities and Serbia will certainly respect and fulfill the obligations it undertook. This is not a choice between East and West, nor will Serbia choose according to that pattern," he said.

Mrkić also announced that Serbia's new government will "soon" adopt and publish its views on all the major issues.

The head of Serbia's negotiating team with the EU Tanja Miščević said that "the position of Brussels that somewhat understand the complex relations between Serbia and Russia should not be an excuse for Serbia."

"Far from it that this is supposed to be our excuse, and that from something that was good practice of Serbia's harmonization with EU foreign policy, attitudes now go to not harmonizing. This is a specific situation and so it should be considered," she told RTS.

Meanwhile, the charge d'affaires of the embassy of Ukraine in Belgrade said that "his country was very disappointed that Serbia, referring to the technical character of the government, has not taken a clear and right attitude about the Russian annexation of Crimea."

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