WASHINGTON – In an interview for The Washington Post, President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić discussed Serbia’s relations to the European Union, as well as Russia. Even though it has declared a desire to join the EU, his country also counts Russia as its ally, the paper reminds.
“We are on our EU path, we want to belong to a European type of society. That’s No. 1, something of the biggest significance for us”, said Vučić, adding that the Union is the biggest bloc of peace and tranquillity.
He emphasised that Serbs are attracted to the living standard in the EU, especially Germany. If one analyses the polls in Serbia, he will see that EU path would win in a potential referendum, he added.
However, he avoided to answer the question of whether Serbia will impose sanctions on Russia if it becomes an EU member.
“We have a very rational approach, although we consider both Europeans and Russians among others as well, as our true friends”, said Vučić. “It (EU path) does not mean we are going to spoil our relationship with Russia. But even when we go to Russia, it does not mean we are leaving our EU path”, he added.
Among the reasons for Serbia’s close ties to Russia, he named the support the country offers in the UN Security Council when it comes to Kosovo and declarations on genocide. He also mentioned 1999 NATO bombing as the main reason why people distrust the West.
With regards to the role of Sputnik and other Russian media, he said he thinks that it as a relatively reliable source of news, although he is not sure.
“They work freely here and that’s it. There is BBC in Serbian, as well. There is N1. There are media owned by people from different countries and that kind of diversity”, he concluded.