BELGRADE – The European Union is aware that Serbia will not sacrifice its relations with Russia, despite Belgrade’s willingness to enter the 28-nation bloc, Serbia’s President Tomislav Nikolic told Sputnik.
Serbia formally applied to join the European Union in 2009. After winning a snap election last month, the ruling Serbian party vowed to speed up the integration process, including pursuing government reforms.
“Europe knows that we will not sever relations with Russia, so it did not pressure us into imposing sanctions on Russia,” Nikolic said, adding he expected EU restrictions against Moscow to be lifted soon.
Serbia and Russia continue to cherish their historically close relations despite Belgrade’s EU membership bid.
Conversely, ties between Russia and Europe soured after the outbreak of a 2014 military conflict in Ukraine, which Brussels blamed on Russia’s interference, and imposed a series of economic sanctions against Moscow.