BELGRADE – European Parliament rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister has said he understood Serbia’s close ties with Russia and respected its decision not to join the anti-Russian sanctions, but added that Belgrade must know the EU was united on the issue.

Serbia is very close to the EU on many issues, but there are differences over Russia, McAllister told Tanjug.

Under Chapter 31 in the EU accession talks, all countries wishing to become EU members must align their foreign and security policies with the EU step by step, McAllister said.

Serbia has had a high degree of alignment with the EU policy to date, McAllister said, particularly commending Serbia’s contribution to EU military missions.