BRUSSELS – Serbia will not be able to close the negotiation chapters in its EU accession talks without bringing to justice the perpetrators of a February 2008 arson attack on the German embassy in Belgrade, says Gunther Krichbaum, chairman of the Bundestag’s Committee on the Affairs of the European Union.

“We will not tolerate any false compromises. This is a matter of rule of law,” Krichbaum told the European Western Balkans portal in an interview.

“As required by my parliamentary faction, the demanded seven points have largely been met (by Serbia), which is why last year the German Bundestag could give the green light for opening the first negotiating chapters.

However, in a resolution on 27 June 2013, the Bundestag made it clear that the accession negotiations can only be concluded once the arson attack on the German Embassy in February 2008 is fully investigated and the perpetrators are brought to justice,” Krichbaum said.

When asked about “the impression that Germany does not acknowledge the importance of issues such as the decreasing of the rule of law and the reduction of media and political freedoms,” Krichbaum responded that “obviously there is a misunderstanding here.”

“It is quite clear that Serbia still needs to implement many reforms in politics, administration, the judiciary and the economy before the country can join the EU. Nevertheless, the efforts and the progress made, largely achieved by Prime Minister (Aleksandar) Vucic, must be acknowledged,” he said.