MPs: Serbia should remain neutral, cooperate with NATO
Members of the Serbian assembly said today, as NATO invited Montenegro to start membership negotiations, that Serbia should be militarily neutral.Source: Beta
However, they also said that Serbia within the framework of neutrality should enhance cooperation with NATO.
Ruling SNS party PM Dragan Sormaz said that cooperation that Serbia now has with NATO is good, because it provides "security and standards in the military."
Beta is reporting that "asked whether Serbia should be thinking about membership in NATO after Montenegro was invited" Sormaz said that this issue is not a topic because "neither has NATO invited Serbia, nor has Serbia said it wants to be a member."
Head of the parliamentary group of the ruling SPS Djordje Milicevic said that Serbia should not change its position of military neutrality.
Opposition DS MP Gordana Comic said that citizens must be informed about what kind of cooperation Serbia has with NATO through Partnership for Peace and that "this requires dialogue."
She added that "this debate is needed because peacekeeping missions are approved by the assembly" while Serbia's "NATO membership" should be a question for the country's citizens.
Opposition Pokret za Preokret party MP Janko Veselinovic said that he supports the country's military neutrality, "which should be a political and economic bridge between the East and the West" but that Serbia "must stop with the current foreign policy."
According to him, "the head of state receives representatives of Russia and the prime minister those of the United States."
"Does this mean that we have a quiet cohabitation in which the president advocates a military alliance with Russia and the prime minister with NATO? This is an untenable situation," said Veselinovic.
Opposition SDS MP Marko Djurisic said the party is "committed to deepening cooperation between Serbia and NATO" but that "a public debate" should be launched on this "cooperation and its form."
"Now we get another neighbor who was a member of the pact and that requires Serbia to reconsider its position and see which is the best solution for Serbia's security, but also keeping in mind the mood of the citizens," said Djurisic.