Can Serbia survive war in Ukraine? What the West is threatening us with?

Until early this morning, President Vučić talked with numerous European and world officials about Serbia's attitude towards the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Izvor: Blic

Wednesday, 02.03.2022.

13:45

Can Serbia survive war in Ukraine? What the West is threatening us with?
FOTO TANJUG/ JADRANKA ILIC/ nr

Can Serbia survive war in Ukraine? What the West is threatening us with?

Pressures on our country are growing, especially from the EU, and they are turning into open threats to the economic stability of our country, and the question is whether Serbia can resist and preserve its positions.

Sources of "Blic" agree that this is one of the fiercest pressures on Belgrade in recent decades, and there were many of them. The United States has a milder attitude towards Serbia than the EU, which is intensifying public rhetoric in order to persuade our country to join the sanctions.

Behind the scenes, however, EU diplomats are almost on the verge of an ultimatum. The ambassadors of the Western countries in Belgrade are in daily communication, meetings are being held, harmonization and transmission of positions from European capitals on the issue of Serbia.

"Serbia is threatened with diplomatic channels by withdrawing all investments from Serbia, even sanctions in the banking sector, and some European countries go so far as to mention removing Serbia from the Schengen list," a Blic source revealed.

The Russian side, meanwhile, is silent, which is considered Russia's most dangerous stance. Serbian authorities, as "Blic" has learned, believe that Russia will not make open threats to Serbia, but that it will "quietly" react to every millimeter further approach of Belgrade to the West's positions on aggression against Ukraine by turning on gas taps and by using similar methods.

Vučić is trying to preserve the position of not imposing sanctions

As "Blic" finds out, among Vučić's interlocutors the previous evening were European officials Charles Michel, President of the European Council, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, EU Foreign Minister, and representatives of the U.S. administration.

In the first days after the beginning of the Russian aggression, Serbia played diplomatically and fully supported the diplomatic integrity of Ukraine, but did not join the sanctions against Russia.

"Vucic is trying to preserve the position of not imposing sanctions on Russia. He clearly said that to his interlocutors from the West and they understand that to some extent. Other documents, resolutions, joint statements can be considered and Serbia could possibly support that," said one of Blic's interlocutors.

One of those resolutions could be today's UN resolution on Russia's aggression against Ukraine, which will be voted on in the UN General Assembly. The ambassadors of the EU countries openly invited Serbia to join the votes of the EU countries tonight in New York.

Diplomatic "warnings"

In the previous days, diplomats also received statements from the EU regarding Serbia's positions on Russia's aggression against Ukraine. Borrell pointed out that the EU must look at what is happening with the attitudes of aligning policy of the Balkan countries, candidates for the EU, with the foreign policy of the Union.

Eric Mamer, a spokesman for the European Commission, said the EU expects all candidate countries to comply with sanctions against Russia. Ana Pisonero, a spokesperson for the European Commission in charge of enlargement, told Radio Free Europe that she expects official Belgrade to comply with the decisions concerning the imposition of sanctions on Russia.

"Candidate countries, such as Serbia, are expected to comply with the EU's decision and position on foreign policy and security issues," said Ana Pisonero.

On February 22, the EU began imposing sanctions on Russia in three packages, and even then said that Serbia was expected to harmonize its policy with the EU's foreign policy.

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