Merkel warns about "Russia's influence" in Serbia
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned, in the context of the situation in Ukraine, about the Russian influence in Moldova, Georgia, and the Balkans.Source: Tanjug
The German media quoted her as saying that "this is not just about Ukraine - this is about Moldova, this is about Georgia, and if this continues then one will have to ask about Serbia and one will have to ask about the countries of the Western Balkans.”
Merkel made the remarks in Australia, addressing the Lowy Institute for International Policy.
"The Ukrainian crisis is not just a regional problem. No, in this case, we see that it affects all of us," said the German chancellor.
She warned that Russia, "in the old style of thinking, sees Ukraine as its sphere of influence and tramples on international law."
"This, after the horrors of World War II and the Cold War brings into question the European peace order,'' Merkel said, pointing out that she does not want "a revival" of the times of the Democratic Republic of Germany, when no move was possible without Moscow's consent, adding that the EU is "not like the GDR."
"Otherwise, one would have to say - we are too weak, watch out people, we cannot accept anyone else, we must first go to Moscow to inquire whether it is possible. That was the case for 40 years and that is what I actually do not want again," Merkel was quoted as saying.
The German magazine Spiegel previously claimed in an article that "the Russian president's strategy" in the Balkans had alerted the German government, and that Berlin was concerned about Russia's "aggressive, anti-Western policy" in this region.
The government in Moscow is trying to "bind Serbia closer through military cooperation and gas deliveries," the magazine quoted "a confidential document of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs."
German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who is on a two-day visit to Belgrade, said that the Serbian government is convinced that Serbia belongs in the EU and that the decision was not against any country, including Russia.