"Not even EU likes Americans teaching Serbia how to join EU"
Moscow is carefully monitoring the process of EU integrations because many of its partner countries are on that road.Source: B92, Beta, EurActiv.com
And Moscow does not object to EU's enlargement, Russia’s ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, told the website EURACTIV.com in a wide-ranging interview.
Asked "what is on the agenda of Russia-EU relations," Chizhov said that political dialogue was ongoing, and that he was looking forward to expert-level consultations on a wide range of issues, from combating drug trafficking to EU enlargement - "coupled with the working group on the Western Balkans. They go together."
When the interviewer asked, "Is this something new? Russia now has a say in EU enlargement?," he replied:
"Of course, we are interested."
"Many of the countries aspiring to join the EU, be it in the Western Balkans or even Turkey, they are well-known and well-established trade and economic partners of the Russian Federation, so we are closely following what is happening," he explained.
When asked "in what way you want to be reassured as to the enlargement and neighborhood countries," Chizhov replied:
"We want to be sure that whatever they do with the EU – be it accession, or association, or whatever – doesn’t infringe on our traditional relations."
"Take Serbia for example. Another clear case, with someone from the US going there to teach them how to accede to the EU. Even people here (in Brussels) didn’t like it very much," he said, in apparent reference to a recent visit to Serbia by a US State Department official.
The diplomat also stressed that "we (Moscow) have nothing against any of these countries, or other countries, establishing and promoting good relations with the EU - we have nothing against enlargement of the EU, which is different from NATO enlargement of course."