EU membership "won't have impact on ties with Russia"

Serbia’s accession to the European Union will have no impact on its friendly relations with Russia, Russian Ambassador to Serbia Aleksandr Chepurin has said.

Source: Beta, ITAR-TASS

“Belgrade does not see any contradictions between its drive for entering the EU and developing friendly relations with Russia. Serbs are categorically against the ‘either-or’ message. This is right,” the diplomat told Itar-Tass.

“The term of Serbia’s ‘drift’ towards Brussels can be hardly considered correct," Chepurin noted, and added:

"Over the last 20 years, Serbia has named the accession to the EU as its foreign policy priority. Now Belgrade is holding talks and hopes to join the EU in 2020. Simultaneously, Belgrade stresses its willingness to preserve and develop good relations with its historical friend - the brotherly country of Russia."

“Today the message ‘never against Russia’ is very popular among the Serbian public. Unlike its neighbors, Serbia said it would not impose any sanctions against Russia. Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić confirmed it. Serbia demonstrates itself as Russia’s real friend. And it refuses to come against its economic interests,” Chepurin said.

The diplomat also praised Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s successful visit to Belgrade, and added that “Serbs are optimistic about the upcoming talks between Vučić and Russian leaders. Sincerity and centuries-long friendship help our contacts."


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