Slovakia "supports Serbia's EU bid, won't recognize Kosovo"

Slovakia is Serbia's true friend, whose experience can teach us a lot, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday in Bratislava.

Source: Beta, Tanjug

He made the statement as he met with Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Vucic told at a joint press conference with the Slovakian prime minister that Serbia's goal is full stabilization of the Balkans.

He said that Serbia will use some of the measures that the Slovakian government has successfully implemented with an eye to boosting economy.

“This year's growth in Slovakia stands at four percent, while the fiscal deficit is below three percent, and this is a good example for Serbia,” Vucic said.

Vucic and Fico conferred on Slovakia's experience in supporting the entrepreneurial sector and manners to collect taxes and VAT, which were successfully implemented by Slovakia, the Serbian government's press office said.

The two prime ministers also said that "Serbia and Slovakia will not recognize Kosovo."

"We are carefully monitoring the development of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, but neither Slovakia, nor Serbia, has any reason to change its position. We are not ready to, and will not recognize Kosovo," Fico said.

"Serbia's position is not changing," said Vucic. "We talk, we will always talk, but we will not recognize Kosovo."

Fico also stated that talks on opening chapters within Serbia's EU accession process should start as soon as possible.

"I am satisfied screening is completed for Serbia, and talks on opening the chapters need to start as soon as possible," Fico said addressing the press, and added:

"We welcomed the fact Serbia finished screenings and is ready to open chapters. I understand that some chapters are more important than others to some EU member-states, but I would not make starting with chapters 23 and 24 - rule of law - as a condition."

He also said that Serbia has adopted a number of decisions thus confirming it wants to be the factor of stability in the region. "We offer Serbia all experiences from our pre-accession talks," the Slovak PM said.

Fico added Serbia has a very important role in chairing the OSCE.

Vucic thanked the Slovak government for the support in preserving Serbia's territorial integrity, and for offering support "on the European path."

"Serbia will not give up on that path, and I am convinced we can learn much from Slovakia," said he.

Fico also stated that he and Vucic also discussed activities of Slovak companies in Serbia. Stressing that the number of active Slovakian companies in Serbia is increasing, Fico added he expects more Serbian companies in Slovakia.

"Our economic cooperation must increase further. We should increase it from the 400 million today to EUR 600 million, and see what happens next... we have excellent political and good economic relations, but we both concluded that they can be better," said Vucic.

Vucic revealed that the conversation today included "business cooperation of two large Slovakian companies in Serbia," as well as "the arrival of Peter Kamaras in Smederevo's Zelezara," and "some energy projects."


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