Enlarging the European Union (EU) is an essential remedy for that organization, and if Brussels abandons this policy, the EU will begin to die a slow death, Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic told Serbia’s RTS network on Thursday.

“The European Union will either continue to expand or it will slowly wither away,” the minister said. Commenting on remarks by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker who said that the EU would not expand until 2019, Dacic noted that this is “in tune with Juncker’s previous statements, perhaps, these comments were not so tough this time.”

During his interview, Dacic was asked about relations with Russia and the US. In his view, Belgrade is in a difficult position due to the current international situation.

“When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. Now it is often said that anti-Russian sanctions are good for us. This is totally stupid. A small country like Serbia should seek its place under the sun,” the top official said.

Dacic also recalled that “it was in Serbia that the West destroyed international law, bombed the country and split off part of our territory.”

As for the need to bring its foreign policy in line with the EU’s standards – that’s what Brussels demands from Belgrade – Dacic noted that Serbia still “has some time before joining the EU, and no one knows when this is going to happen.”

“I hope Russia and the West will be able to sort out their relationship by that time, if not, all of us will face major problems, including the EU. We need to follow our interests. There’s a saying in the UK that goes as follows: things tend to change, be it friends or enemies, but there are only British interests. Similarly, we have only permanent Serb interests,” Dacic stressed.