European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia Vladimir Bilcik has called the Russian-Belarusian-Serbian military exercise “not helpful” for Serbia’s EU path, adding that what would help the country advance toward EU membership are clear “foreign policy choices.”
“As Serbian diplomacy is seeking EU support in the run-up to political [Intergovernmental Conference] on #enlargement, the news of joint Russian-Belorusian-Serbian Slavic Brotherhood military drills are not helpful. European perspective is also about clear foreign policy choices, especially in today’s geopolitics,” Bilcik wrote on his Twitter account in the evening on June 13.
Serbian, Russian and Belarusian forces are currently conducting a joint military exercise, titled Slavic Brotherhood 2021, in the south-western part of Russia. The exercise began on June 8 and will end on June 19.
According to the Serbian Defense Ministry, Slavic Brotherhood 2021 is a tactical exercise of the three countries’ special forces, whose purpose is practice and preparation for the execution of complex anti-terrorist combat missions.
The EU member states have decided not to open new chapters in their negotiations with Serbia in June. The EU-Serbia Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), however, will be held on June 22 in Luxembourg, where the new negotiation methodology will be presented. A significant number of member states have not been in favor of opening the new chapters due to Serbia’s lack of progress, especially in the rule of law area.