Les Echos: Tight Relations with Russia Not Helping Serbia on Road to EU Membership | Beta Briefing

Les Echos: Tight Relations with Russia Not Helping Serbia on Road to EU Membership

Source: Beta
News / Politics | 23.06.22 | access_time 16:04

Serbia, Eu flags (BETAPHOTO/European Commission/Etienne Ansotte/MO)

Tight relations with Russia are not helping Serbia's bid to gain membership in the EU, while Belgrade's more than dual stance toward Moscow is inevitably cooling Europeans' sentiments, the French Les Echos newspaper said on June 23.

The French business journal cited former European Commission director for enlargement Pierre Mirel who said that "Serbia has intensely grown nearer to Moscow by buying armaments and signing a free trade treaty." The Paris newspaper added that "President Aleksandar Vucic has refused to follow Europeans where sanctions against Russia are concerned, and felt that renewing an agreement on gas shipments from Moscow at a time when the EU is seeking to lower its dependence on gas shipments from Russia was appropriate."

"This more than dual stance toward Moscow is inevitably cooling Europeans' sentiments, while his actions toward the media and violation of the rule of law are preventing the country from progressing" toward the EU, Mirel said. He also added that "Serbia knows that it will not be able to wrap up negotiations on membership without a bilateral agreement with Kosovo."

As for EU enlargement to the Western Balkans Les Echos said that, "The slowness of the process of expansion has so far caused no true concern, especially in the west of Europe" because the "perspective of a motley and small group of extremely poor countries, eaten away by corruption and frequently with internal, ethnic or religious conflicts, joining the EU is not a reason for enthusiasm, especially in France."

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