BRUSSELS – There was no pressure on Serbia to join NATO, Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic said Wednesday after meetings at NATO’s Brussels headquarters.

NATO respects Serbia’s military neutrality, but it is also one of the first partners to talk to when it comes to preserving peace, stability and economic progress, Vucic told reporters.

Vucic said he had told the North Atlantic Council in an open conversation that Serbia was on the European path, that it had good relations with Russia and that it wanted to improve the good cooperation with NATO.

“We agreed to hold separate civil exercises in 2018 for emergency situations,” he announced.

“We discussed ways of preserving peace because the Serbian citizens must know that we are surrounded by NATO countries,” Vucic said, thanking KFOR for airlifting a sick Serb baby from Kosovo’s Laplje selo village to Belgrade.