Contrary to Albania, Montenegro and Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are two countries of the region that aligned themselves to a lesser extent with EU foreign policy declarations and measures in 2017. Serbia agreed with only 19 of them, that is, 46.34%, which is a significant drop if compared to 2016 (66.66%) and 2015 (73.53%), according to the analysis of the Centre for International and Security Affairs (ISAC).
Thus, “out of the 22 declarations which Serbia did not agree with, seven refer to the situation in Ukraine in the context of Russia’s connection with the various critical elements in this country, four in the African countries (two in the DRC, and one in Chad and Uganda) three in connection with the war in Syria and the crisis in Venezuela, and one in relation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Myanmar/Burma, Russia itself, Transnistria in Moldova, and the International Criminal Tribunal.”
According to the authors, it is not surprising that Serbia does not agree with a significant amount of declarations that are either related to the non-recognition of Kosovo or are directly or indirectly related to Russia, due to priority that Serbia gives to its foreign policy goals in relation to Kosovo and prevention of its further recognition.
Twelve declarations that Serbia failed to comply with were thematically indirectly or directly related to Russia, reads the text. Thus, the six foreign policy statements related to the situation in Ukraine which Serbia did not agree with pertained to the extension of already existing restrictive measures against certain entities and individuals from Russia and Ukraine. Also, Serbia did not comply with any declaration regarding Syria, which, in addition, directly or indirectly concerned Russia or its involvement in certain incidents. However, Serbia has, on the other hand, aligned itself with other declarations on Syria, which were not directly or directly related to Russia, it is said in the analysis.
Furthermore, Serbia did not agree with the declarations concerning countries that refused to recognise Kosovo’s independence and did not vote for Kosovo’s admission to UNESCO, according to the authors. Therefore, for instance, Serbia did not comply with the declarations concerning restrictive measures against the DRC, as well as the declarations pertinent to the situation in Venezuela.
Finally, Serbia continues its policy of non-compliance with the declarations on conflicts during the 1990s, hence the non-alignment with the restrictive measures of the European Union towards individuals and entities from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Publication of this article has been supported by the Balkan Trust for Democracy of the German Marshall Fund of the United States