Russia worried about NATO in Balkans - and Serbia in EU
Russia will probably be forced to revise a series of agreements with Serbia if the country becomes deeply integrated into the EU.Source: Beta
This has been stated by a senior official of the ruling United Russia party, Sergei Zheleznyak.
"It is completely clear to us that with deep integration of the Serbian partners into the EU, we will most likely be forced to reexamine a series of agreements between our countries in order to protect our economic interests," Zheleznyak said in an online interview published on the website of United Russia, Beta agency has reported.
Zheleznyak, who is also vice president of the State Duma, said that Russia is " very concerned by NATO's attempt to strengthen its position in the Balkans, including in brotherly Serbia."
"In Montenegro, we clearly see what kind of deep social rift is brought about by the aspiration to drag that country into the Alliance at any cost, against the will of its own people," he said.
According to Zheleznyak, that is the reason Russia supports Belgrade's efforts to preserve its military neutrality, adding that it will continue to implement this policy "as an important part of friendly Russian-Serbian relations."
"The most important thing is that the ways and methods to further strengthen the neutrality - including the idea of fixing the fact in the Constitution, as a long-term guarantee that Serbia will not join NATO - are determined by Serbian political forces without outside pressure," he added.
Speaking about Serbia's bid to join the EU, Zheleznyak noted that integration and foreign policy issues are a matter of countries themselves, "taking into account the views of citizens."
According to him, the main and absolutely unacceptable condition of the EU for Serbia's accession is to recognize Kosovo.
"United Russia is lately firmly adhering to the policy of providing support to our Serbian partners, in the ruling party and in the opposition, in implementing an independent course in the interest of citizens," said Zheleznyak.