Lavrov: "Serbia won't open a new EU chapter if it doesn't impose sanctions on Russia"
Sergey Lavrov assessed in Skopje that Serbia will not open any new chapter in negotiations with the European Union if it does not impose sanctions on Russia.Source: Beta
"If you want to join the EU, I think you won't open a new chapter if you don't follow all EU decisions, including the sanctions against Russia," Lavrov said at a press conference during the OSCE Ministerial Council, answering a question from a journalist from Serbia what the final outcome of talks between Belgrade and Pristina would be.
As the head of Russian diplomacy pointed out, it is "a way of persuasion by the EU".
"This is how they convince the Serbs to accept that Kosovo becomes a member of international organizations. Is that realistic?" Lavrov added.
Speaking about talks between Belgrade and Pristina with the mediation of the EU, Lavrov said that an agreement was reached 10 years ago on the status of Serbian municipalities in Kosovo and that after 10 years nothing has happened, because the Kosovo side categorically refuses to fulfill its obligations.
"The people who were designated to be the leaders of this Serbian region categorically refuse to accept their obligations. Did the EU ask for something from the Kosovo side? No. The EU only had demands from the Serbian community. They have already brought a document that differs and contains different principles from what was agreed between Belgrade and Pristina," Lavrov said.
He added that all the problems facing the Balkans originate from the West, ever since the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.
He said that he is not a great expert on Macedonian-Bulgarian relations, but that, in his opinion, the problems in the region have their roots in the West, that is, they arose after the breakup of Yugoslavia.
"I am not a great expert on Macedonian-Bulgarian relations, I can only say that the people of Macedonia have every right to be equal in all activities on our common continent. And not only for relations between Bulgaria and Macedonia, but for all Balkan countries, I would say that the root of all Balkan problems lies in the behavior of the Western powers," he said when asked by the MIA agency.
According to him, the West has always had an interest in inciting nations against each other. "I am convinced that the peoples of the Balkan Peninsula have gone through difficult historical transitions, that they have a common code and that they must not be defeated, nor allow the West to become enemies of each other," Lavrov said.
The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs encouraged the ethnic groups in the Balkans to live peacefully and to suppress all nationalist ambitions and urged them not to join the sanctions against Russia, only to, as he said, fulfill certain Western ambitions.