Russia is increasing its influence in Serbia in order to prevent the process of EU integration, says EP Committee on Foreign Affairs chair David McAllister.
According to the German member of the European Parliament (MEP), Moscow is exerting its influence on the whole of the Balkans.
Russia pursues the policy of destabilization of the situation in Serbia in order not to allow the Balkan countries to join the European Union, McAllister told the German newspaper Welt, according to Sputnik.
“Russia is deliberately destabilizing Serbia. This is of great concern,” said the politician.
He also claims that Moscow is trying to make “a big influence on the media, a number of politician, and civil society” in the republic.
McAllister observed that Serbia considers Russia to be “one of its main supporters.”
The paper emphasizes that even EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, while in Serbia recently, “felt the friendly atmosphere towards Russia.”
Namely, during her address to the Serbian National Assembly in Belgrade, some opposition deputies chanted, “Serbia-Russia, we don’t need the (European) Union.”
Other than Russia, continues the German daily, “Turkey, China, Saudi Arabia and Qatar” are all trying to expand their influence in the Balkans.
“The Balkans is a completely unstable region, where an explosion can occur in a very short time. Due to some irresponsible actions, conflicts considered settled long ago may happen again,” McAllister has been quoted as saying.
The Welt article noted that Russia and Serbia in May 2014 signed an agreement on strategic partnership, resolving to support each other “in exchange for information, and carry out joint military exercises.”