Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic has told the Financial Times that her country should not be asked to choose between the West and Russia.
According to the London-based newspaper, Brnabic “insisted that Serbia’s ties to Moscow are not an obstacle to its EU membership bid.”
“The appointment in June of reform expert Ana Brnabic sent a signal that Belgrade had made joining the EU its over-riding objective. But Serbia’s EU route to membership remains clouded because of mixed progress on reforms, the bloc’s enlargement fatigue and skepticism over Belgrade’s political, military and economic ties to Russia,” reads the article, published under the headline, “Serbian PM insists Russian ties are no obstacle to EU membership.”
The daily further stated that “European officials — who are increasingly wary of Russia’s influence in the Balkans — accuse Moscow of stoking unrest in the region and view Belgrade’s east-west balancing act warily,” and that US is “also urging clarity from Belgrade on its strategic direction, with a senior US diplomat warning this month that Serbia could not ‘sit on two chairs at the same time’.”
Brnabic is quoted as saying that “EU integration remains the main foreign policy goal.”
“It is unfair to ask Serbia to pick and choose, and I don’t think it’s needed. We are not pro-US or pro-Russian, we are pro-Serbia. Our strategic focus is EU [membership] and wherever we go, whomever we talk to, we say this,” she said.