Politics

Serbia Worried about Croatia’s Possible Blockage of Its EU Negotiations

By 28 February 2017

Foreign Minister Dačić: We want faster negotiations with the EU, but Croatia could block us again.

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić believes that the pace of accession negotiations of his country with the European Union does not reflect its real progress in reforms and improvement of relations with neighbouring countries. He also complained about possible Croatian blockade of accession negotiations, reports Nacional on February 28, 2017.

“It seems to me that the pace of opening of negotiation chapters is not so much a reflection of what Serbia itself has achieved, as much as the issue of agreement between 28 member states. Croatia blocked us late last year and I have no illusions that this will not happen again”, said Dačić in an interview with Slovenian media during his recent official visit to Ljubljana. “We are ready for dialogue and we will accept all interpretations about what else we need to do during the negotiations, but we cannot accept being humiliated for no reason and with no argument”, said Dačić.

He said that Serbia would like to solve its open issues with Croatia “in a peaceful, political and diplomatic way, as we are doing with Priština and Sarajevo”, but he demanded that Croatia must distance itself from the “phenomena which rehabilitate the Ustasha regime and the Independent State of Croatia”.

Instead of distancing itself from such phenomena, as suggested recently, in Croatia they said that my criticism was unacceptable, although I represented the values which unite the European Union, said Dačić, referring to statements by Croatian officials that his statements on the subject were completely out of place and that they were coming from a party apparatchik who began his career in the service of Slobodan Milošević.

Speaking about other issues, Dačić said that at Serbia's upcoming presidential elections he expected a landslide victory of current Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić in the first round of voting. “The Balkans is still a region where there are tensions and misunderstandings. That is why we need a sober, calm and united policy with a wider view, and Vučić personifies that. Cohabitation of politicians from different parties does not work in Serbia. We need unity, and that can be provided only by Vučić, with a victory in the first round of presidential elections”, said Dačić. He added that the situation in Europe was “fragile”, while the security in the Balkan region was threatened by “Priština whose hasty moves could destabilize the region”.

Although people “should not expect miracles from the policies of Donald Trump”, he talks about a different approach of the United States to global crises, which is positive for Serbia as a militarily neutral country which leads autonomous policy, getting closer to the European Union and fostering good relations with Russia and China, stressed Dačić. “I think that the United States will no longer intervene in every crisis. Our interest is to have good relations with the United States. I expect that the new US administration will show more understanding for Serbia than was formerly the case”, said Dačić.

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