New EU document published; "Stop everything with Serbia. Immediately"
European Parliament (EP) will ask the European Union (EU) to suspend accession negotiations with Serbia until Serbia imposes sanctions on Russia, media reports.Source: B92, RFE
"Priority should be given to the harmonization of accession countries with the EU's common foreign and security policy and continue accession negotiations with Serbia only if the country complies with EU sanctions against Russia," the draft report states.
Members of the EP will discuss this document at the session of the Foreign Policy Committee on October 13, and the final version of the draft will be in the form of a resolution of the European Parliament. The vote on the resolution is expected in November, RFE reports. EP resolutions are not legally binding on member states or other European institutions.
The European Social Democrats, the second largest grouping in the EP, have already announced that they believe that the EU cannot continue accession negotiations with Serbia without imposing sanctions on Russia and announced that this will be included in the upcoming enlargement report.
Serbia is the only country in the region that has not imposed sanctions on Russia
Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the European Union has regularly asked Serbia to impose sanctions on Russia in accordance with EU decisions, because candidate countries for EU membership should gradually harmonize their foreign policy with the policy of the European Union, including sanctions.
Serbia is the only country in the region that has not imposed sanctions on Russia, while the other countries of the Western Balkans have harmonized all their policies with those of the EU.
Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Serbia and Russia, Nikola Selaković and Sergej Lavrov, signed the Consultations Plan of their ministries for the period 2023-2024 in New York last week, on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
European Union reacted by pointing out that it is "seriously concerned" about the signing of this document and that Serbia thereby sends a message "that it intends to strengthen cooperation with Russia". Serbia has been negotiating EU membership since 2014.
The rule of law, as well as relations with Kosovo, are considered key elements that determine the progress of the accession process. However, since the start of the war in Ukraine on February 24, relations with Russia have also become important and will be key to the decision to open new chapters.