Serbia is “not in a position to join the decisions and restrictive measures relating to Russia and China,” acting PM and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic has said.
These countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council, while our territorial integrity is threatened by the attempt of secession of a part of our territory, and Russia and China countries insist on the respect for international law, Dacic said.
He was addressing the ISAC Fund-organized conference dubbed “Deepening Security and Defense Policy in a Multi-Speed Europe,” held in Belgrade on Tuesday.
“We have the same attitude towards all the other countries that support us regarding Kosovo and Metohija. In that sense, our position is consistent, it has never changed, but in the meantime the position of the EU and of part of the international community regarding the Russian Federation has changed. Why? As they say, because of the respect for international law, which must be respected when it comes to Ukraine, but it seems it does not have to be respected when it comes to Serbia,” Dacic said, according to the remarks published by the Serbian government.
“Principles and rules should apply to all equally, and the EU should react in an equal way when those principles and rules are violated, whether by Serbia or by somebody else,” the minister stated.
According to Dacic, “it would be extremely useful if the EU included countries that started membership negotiations in the decision-making process and preparation of strategic common foreign and security policy documents.”
Dacic pointed out that Serbia has been waiting for three years to get from the European Union a report from the screening of Chapter 31, although the bilateral screening, which took place as early as October 2014, was evaluated as very successful.
“To our great discontent, the question of Serbia’s cooperation with the EU in this area is primarily viewed, and seemingly evaluated, through only one segment – Serbia’s siding with the decisions and declarations of the EU, in particular those concerning Russia. That is also almost certainly the main reason why EU member states could not agree on the contents of the report, which has been under approval for already a year and a half,” Dacic said.
He added that Serbia is faced with already defined decisions which it can only accept or reject, which it occasionally does, “so our accession percentage in recent years stands at around 64 percent annually.”
“I think that, at this stage of our European integration and taking into account all the challenges we are facing, that is realistic. All decisions regarding the association are carefully weighed and balanced, taking into account our national interest,” Dacic said.