The German government explicitly confirms the European perspective of the Western Balkans, which is in the interest of the European Union, said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz after a meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić. He added that this is a promise that the EU will certainly fulfil.
Scholz emphasized that the EU and its candidates must be united and defend common values.
“We cannot accept the war that Russia is waging against Ukraine, and those in the same camp must support each other”, said Scholz, stressing that progress in European integration is necessary, especially in areas of the rule of law, freedom of the media and the fight against corruption and crime.
The central topic of conversation was the dialogue between Belgrade and Priština.
“I spoke with Vučić about the importance of progress in the dialogue that should lead to a comprehensive agreement, and all agreed obligations must be respected, but unilateral moves are not useful”, said Scholz.
He also pointed out that Germany intensively supports Serbia’s accession process, both through counselling and project financing.
“The European perspective of Serbia and other countries in the region must be turned into reality. My promise is that I will strive for the perspective to become reality”, Scholz told reporters, referring to what he said was Dodik’s secessionist efforts:
“I am worried about the situation in BiH. It is important to engage all constructive partners there. Vučić and I agreed that it is important to continue cooperating, the most important project is the single regional market.”
Asked by journalists whether Serbia’s attitude towards Russia will have consequences when it comes to joining the EU, Scholz answered that it is very important that they took note of the fact that Serbia has on several occasions been very clear in the UN General Assembly, unequivocally advocating the EU’s position – that this was a Russian attack on Ukraine and that it was unacceptable.
“The fact that we do not agree in every detail is the topic of our talks, but we should not anticipate that attitude or such behaviour from Serbia”, said Scholz.
In the end, the Chancellor announced a visit to the region and Serbia, and Vučić thanked him for his hospitality and said that they discussed various topics, primarily trade.
“Germany is Serbia’s largest trading partner. A lot of changes have happened, eight years ago it was partner number four, now it is no longer like that. It is better”, said the Serbian President.
He added that two other topics had been discussed.
“One was attitudes towards the war in Ukraine. I pointed out Serbia’s commitment to the UN vote, I told him what problems we are facing. The key issue was also regional relations. I do not think that one side is to blame for the problems in BiH. I promised him that Serbia would not be the cause of the problem, we keep our promises. The Western Balkans will have peace and stability. I did not want to comment on the claims that Serbia will provoke conflicts. That is not happening”, said Vučić.
Photo: Predsedništvo Srbije/Dimitrije Goll