Moscow parade participation "contrary to EU integration"

Eduard Kukan says Serbian soldiers' participation in the Victory Day military parade in Moscow stood in contrast to the country’s EU integration ambitions.

Source: Beta, Tanjug

Te chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Serbia issued a statement late on Tuesday, after Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic announced his decision on Monday.

"I view President Nikolic’s decision to send Serbian soldiers to take part in the military parade in Moscow as being in contrast to the statements about the country’s commitment to the EU integration process," Kukan announced, and added:

"Given the current situation, such a decision becomes an important political gesture. President Nikolic should be aware that such gestures can affect the country’s European integration process."

While visiting Belgrade last month, Kukan also suggested to Nikolic that he should not attend the military parade, that will be organized as part of celebrations to mark 70 years since victory over fascism.

Nikolic responded by saying that pressure was exerted on him over this issue "in vain."

Earlier on Tuesday, head of the EU delegation in Serbia Michael Davenport said that "Serbia decides which gatherings it takes part in, an in what manner."

He added that he did not know how many EU countries would have their representatives in Moscow on May 9, and noted that the day was very important for the EU because it is marked as Europe Day.

Davenport added that EU's beginnings are marked on that day and its future contemplated, and that it is for that reason "also important for Serbia as a candidate for membership that shares all European values."


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