BELGRADE – Serbia’s EU accession will bring major changes to its bilateral business ties with Russia, Russian Ambassador Alexander Chepurin said Monday, calling for talks on adapting an existing free trade agreement to new conditions.

We would not want our bilateral business ties to suffer at the time of Serbia’s EU accession, Chepurin told a panel at the 16th Serbian Economic Forum.

The changes will primarily affect the free trade regime, he said.

The EU forms a single economic area and member states cannot maintain special economic relations with third countries or be in free trade zones with them, he said.

Following Serbia’s EU accession, its free trade zone with Russia or the EEU will be forced to cease to exist, he said.

He said the accession could have a negative impact on the two countries’ cooperation in the energy sector, as in the case of South Stream.