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EU: We Are Awaiting Serbia With Open Arms

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The European Union has clearly welcomed Belgrade’s vote in the UN regarding the Ukrainian crisis and wants Serbia to align itself with the EU, says EU head of delegation to Serbia, Emanuel Giofre

“We want Serbia to be with us even in these difficult times, and to comply with EU statements and measures to counter Russia’s obvious aggression, and we welcome all steps towards that”, said Giofre.

Asked whether there was pressure before the UN vote, given media reports that some of Germany’s largest companies had discussed closing in Serbia due to an “unclear stance on the Ukraine crisis”, Giofre said that “there was no pressure or blackmail against Serbia to vote at the UN ”.

“Blackmail is a myth”, he said, adding that the EU has a dialogue with key interlocutors in Belgrade and that they want Serbia to harmonize with the positions of the European Union.

There is nothing wrong with this, he stresses, because it is part of the process of Serbia’s accession to the EU.

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According to the ambassador, companies make their own decisions because their goal is European and global stability. He added that he would prefer to focus on positive examples, such as the fact that the EU is traditionally Serbia’s best trading partner with more than 60 percent of total trade.

He also stated that Serbia remains an important partner for the EU.

“The EU has opened its arms to welcome Serbia”, Giofre stressed, adding that Serbia should also deal with the necessary reforms, especially in key areas such as the rule of law, freedom of the media, the fight against corruption, organized crime and public procurement.

The EU head of delegation also recalled the declaration at Brdo near Kranj in October, and that the countries of the Western Balkans have been invited to join the EU when they meet the criteria of the negotiating chapters.

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