President Aleksandar Vucic said that European Union Council President Charles Michel expects Serbia to join in the sanctions against Russia. Speaking after a meeting with Michel, Vucic said that the EU Council president “expressed in a very strong way the expectation and wish for Serbia to join in imposing sanctions against the Russian Federation”. “I informed him of our political stands”, the Serbian president added.
The Serbian President said that Michel’s visit at this moment is of great importance to the future of the country. He said that he is grateful to Michel for always being prepared to hear the Serbian side and devoting special attention to the Western Balkans.
“We discussed Serbia’s European path and I stressed that our goal is full membership in the EU. I want to tell the citizens of Serbia that this is not just an emotional issue but a matter of reason”, Vucic said. He said the importance of the EU is reflected in the fact that trade with the Union accounted for more than 60 percent of Serbia’s foreign trade in 2021, totaling 30 billion euros, and the fact that it is the biggest foreign investor.
Asked if quicker accession to the EU means recognition of Kosovo, Vucic replied saying: “If you think you can get cheese for free – you will never get it because free cheese only exists in a mousetrap”. He added that the issue is not recognition but a comprehensive agreement on normalization.Michel told the news conference that he is in Belgrade to confirm that the EU is fully committed to Serbia’s accession negotiations and wants to expand the dialogue and cooperation, and promote peace, stability, and security.
He said that the war in Ukraine has shaken up Europe. “The time has come after COVID to recover our economies and protect each other… We have to speed up integration… We want the citizens of Serbia and partners in the region to have benefits. My visit sends a strong signal of close cooperation between Serbia and the EU”.
He said that the EU invests in Serbia and its people. “Your projects become ours, your future is our common future which is why the EU is the leading investor”. Michel elaborated that the European Geo-Political Community that he proposed would help ease accession for EU candidate countries by providing a platform to exchange views at the highest level and increase mutual political understanding. He added that it’s important to have that political format right now, enabling a common commitment to specific challenges.