Vice President of the German Marshall Fund Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff agrees with remarks that Serbia has to choose which bloc it wants to belong to.
Nevertheless, he added that it has already done so by entering the EU membership negotiations.
Kleine-Brockhoff told the Beta agency in an interview that basic regulations of the European Union do not prohibit member countries from maintaining good relations with countries outside the Union, and that by joining the EU Serbia could influence EU’s foreign policy.
The German expert for European affairs agreed with the statement of US official Hoyt Brian Yee that Serbia cannot “sit on two chairs,” but also said he was convinced that Serbia has already decided where it wants to be.
“Serbia must decide which club it wants to belong to, but it had already made that decision by entering the EU membership negotiations,” said Kleine-Brockhoff, who was an adviser to the previous German president, Joachim Gauck.
He said that some EU countries, including Germany, have good relations with Russia, adding that by entering the EU Serbia could participate in coordinating EU’s joint foreign policy.
“Serbia would be in a very good position. Serbia would be in the club and would present arguments for different tones in relations with Russia,” said the vice president of the German Marshall Fund.
He said that nothing in EU’s regulations says that good relations with Russia cannot be had.
“The problem now is not the EU, that good relations with others cannot be had. The problem now is Russia. Russia has violated the norms of common understanding by occupying a part of another country, but it’s not that you cannot and should not have good relations with Russia,” Kleine-Brockhoff told Beta.