NOVI SAD – Bilateral issues and disputes should not be linked to a state’s EU membership, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Wednesday, commenting on Croatia’s decision to obstruct the opening of Serbia’s EU entry negotiations on Chapter 23.

Our position is that if there is any dispute between two states, this cannot possibly slow down the EU integration process, Orban told Tanjug’s reporter when asked about a way out of the current situation in which Croatia is blocking the opening of Chapter 23.

Orban said this is a matter of principle, adding that he took the same stance when Slovenia blocked Croatia’s EU entry.

Underlining that he would not like to interfere in the dispute between Serbia and Croatia, Orban said that Europe needs Serbia:

“One just needs to look at the map, it is so clear that Serbia should be in the EU,” the Hungarian prime minister said in Novi Sad, where he toured a residence hall together with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.