EU urges Serbia to support Western sanctions against Russia

If Serbia is serious about joining the EU in the future, the country should join Western sanctions on Russia, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, stated. It was reported by the EUObserver.

“It’s crucial that [Serbia] supports our national security and foreign policy. To join the EU, you must share our principles”, she remarked beside Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic during her visit to Belgrad (28 October).

Ursula von der Leyen said after visiting the capitals of the Western Balkans, that the EU is attempting to engage in a closer relationship in response to Russian aggression in Europe.

Over the past seven months, all of the candidates for the EU in the region have adopted EU blacklists and economic sanctions on Moscow, but Vucic has continued to maintain friendly relationships with Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Serbia’s support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine was reiterated by Vucic. However, Serbia abstained from the UN vote on October 13 regarding Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territories.

However, in a sign of underlying tensions, Vucic made a sharp statement regarding Western support for Kosovo’s independence.

He stated on Friday, “Sometimes we question ourselves, why hasn’t Serbia’s territorial integrity been respected?”

Amid the region’s uneasy security situation, Serbia and Kosovo are currently locked in a battle over license plates for cars and local government autonomy for Serb municipalities. Ms. Von der Leyen advised them to talk out their differences. “I’m very certain that this is both realistic and feasible, she declared”.

Despite the sanctions against Russia, Vucic promised to align Serbia with the EU’s visa-free travel policy in response to concerns over immigration from Europe.

Serbia’s visa advantages have been threatened with suspension by EU nations when it was discovered that it made it simpler for citizens of Burundi, Cuba, India, Turkey, and Tunisia to seek asylum in Europe.

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