EU official urges Serbia to "support sanctions"
EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn has called on Serbia to "support EU sanctions against Russia."Source: Tanjug
"When Serbia joins the EU it will have to align itself with our foreign policy and decisions," said he.
Hahn is due to make his fist visit to Belgrade on November 20.
He was talking to reporters in Brussels on Friday, as quoted by the APA news agency, when he said that Serbia "has its own history and its relations with Russia," but according to him, "will have to decide at a certain point."
Top Serbian officials have repeatedly said that while respecting Ukraine's territorial integrity, Serbia does not intend to join the western sanctions against Russia.
Hahn added that countries that are candidates for membership in the organization "decide on the pace of their accession themselves, through their reforms."
"At the same time it is less about taking EU laws, and more about changing the culture and the thinking, as well as providing evidence those changes are sustainable," he said.
Hahn said that Russia is increasingly isolated, and that President Vladimir Putin has to decide how to proceed, "because he is sanctioning and increasingly isolating his country."
The sanctions have, according to him, affected the economic and financial development of Russia.
He also expressed the hope that "Russia will return to the negotiating table," and, "in its own interest, again become a full-fledged member of the international community."
Europe, he added, must remain strong, united and clear.
The situation in Ukraine is getting worse by the day, said Hahn, adding that it was not just the military conflict in the east, "but the situation in the whole country since the conflict affects the entire country."