Serbia’s defense minister on Tuesday sharply criticized as “hostile” the remarks by a senior U.S. diplomat who said Belgrade needs to choose between Russia and the West if it wants to join the European Union, AP reports.
Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin, known for his pro-Russian views, told state news agency Tanjug that the remarks by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Hoyt Brian Yee represent “very undiplomatic pressure on our country.”
“This is not a statement made by a friend or a person respecting Serbia, respecting our right to decide independently,” Vulin said. Yee said in Belgrade on Monday that the countries wishing to join the EU “must very clearly demonstrate this desire. You cannot sit on two chairs at the same time.”
“Countries must choose which path to follow; regardless of how difficult it would be the country has to make its strategic choices which must be part of official policy,” Yee said.
Serbia is formally seeking EU membership, but under pressure from longtime Slavic ally Russia it has graduall