BELGRADE – NATO is not looking for new members and we do not recruit – it is up to each country to decide whether it wants to join the alliance and, since Serbia is not seeking membership and has no membership action plan, its membership in NATO is not a topic of discussions, Gordon Duguid, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Belgrade, said Tuesday.
There is a certain degree of confusion in the public about what NATO is and how it is cooperating with Serbia, Duguid told a conference on the Western Balkans and NATO.
Serbia has a partnership with NATO and participates in the Partnership for Peace programme, which is mutually beneficial, Duguid said.
There are other countries in Europe that have a stronger partnership with NATO and also do not want to be its members, he said, citing Sweden, Ireland, Finland and Austria as examples.
We have said clearly that the values of neutrality are respected and that Serbia has made it clear that it is not interested in joining, Duguid said, adding that this did not mean inactivity and that the path to a more productive cooperation was open for Serbia.