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EU Makes Serbia Join Sanctions
November 26, 2014 15:12


Serbia was obliged to impose sanctions against Russia in exchange for EU membership. 

Serbia should impose sanctions against Russia if it wants to join the EU. This was stated by the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn in an interview with the Serbian newspaper “Evening News”. 

“During the accession negotiations Serbia was legally obliged to gradually harmonize its position on difficult issues, such as sanctions against Russia, with the EU. This is very important, and we expect Belgrade to comply with this obligation” – Khan stated before his visit to Belgrade.

The European Commissioner said that he understands the historical importance of the relations between Serbia and Russia, and therefore will not force Belgrade to “make a simple choice”. 

However, he reminded that Serbia has set a course for joining the EU, declaring it the main strategic goal. “We expect that the representatives of your government continue to demonstrate commitment to the key strategic goal of joining the EU, both in your speeches and your deeds” – Khan added. 

The relations between the West and Russia have deteriorated because of the situation in Ukraine. The referendum in Crimea was held on March, 16, where more than 96 percent of the citizens voted in favor of accession of the Republic to the Russian Federation. The EU and the United States did not find the results of the vote legal. The pretext for imposing restrictions was also the Kremlin’s position on the conflict in eastern Ukraine. On 17 March the EU imposed a number of sanctions against Russian companies and banks. They also affected, in particular, energy, finance, defense and oil sectors.

The latest package of restrictions was introduced by the European Union and the United States on September 12. Serbia has been a candidate for EU membership since March 2012. Earlier - after the introduction of Moscow’s measures in response to Western sanctions - Brussels has already asked Belgrade to refuse from the replacement of European agricultural products on the Russian market.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russia International Sanctions    

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