Rama sided with Serbia: "You have to understand, Serbia has special ties with Russia"
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama advocated for the understanding of Serbia's position when it comes to imposing sanctions on Russia, Politico reported.Source: Kosovo online
"You have to understand that Serbia is in a very different position compared to many others, because of its history, because of its special ties with Russia," Rama said.
He stated that he believes that Serbia should impose sanctions in time, but warned that Belgrade, which is largely dependent on Moscow for energy supplies, should not be pressured to do too much too soon.
"It is suicidal for their economy. Too much Western pressure on Serbia could be detrimental to the stability of the Western Balkans region," Rama warned.
He added that sometimes "we have to put up with others and understand what is happening".
"I think Serbia is on the right track. Of course, not at the speed we might want. But believe me, other scenarios are really very bad for everyone, and especially for this region," Rama said. Albanian Prime Minister also said that he did not expect the EU summit next week to open the way for his country to start membership negotiations, and blamed Bulgaria for that.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Bulgaria last week in an effort to overcome the blockade of Sofia ahead of the upcoming summit in Brussels, which will be held on Thursday and Friday next week. But in an interview with Politico, Rama made it clear that he is pessimistic. "I have no expectations. I don't think anything will happen. Albania and North Macedonia will not officially open accession negotiations," he said.
Asked if any of the EU leaders had indicated that negotiations could begin soon, Rama asked: "What indications can they give?" "It's not about them. Again, it's about Bulgaria. Everyone agrees, everyone supports, everyone thinks this should happen, and this should have happened already. But Bulgaria is limiting their room for maneuver," Rama said.
He said he did not expect Bulgarian leaders to change their stance, as they turned the dispute into such a big issue that it was very difficult to give up.
"They have entered a spiral. And it is very, very difficult to get out of that spiral," said Rama, who will attend a meeting of Western Balkan and EU leaders in Brussels ahead of the summit. The Albanian leader also said he supported French President Emmanuel Macron's idea of a European political community, an organization that would be open to both EU and non-EU members. "I think he is right. It should have been done a long time ago… because this is visionary," Rama said, refusing to go into details about the form that community should take.
"It can be discussed, but in principle, having one political community that is organized in different ways... is very important, and that is outside the European Union that we have today, and which is obviously not able to face the challenges in the time to come”, he concluded.