Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told the Financial Times that the decision to deny the opening of EU accession talks for Albania and especially for Macedonia tells all Balkan countries that they cannot, under any circumstance disregard ties with other powers and rely exclusively on the EU.
Aleksandar Vucic also said the EU’s refusal to open accession talks with Macedonia and Albania vindicated his policy of forging closer ties with China and Russia. Belgrade is ready to sign a free trade deal with the Eurasian Economic Union, a Moscow-centred customs union with five members, on Friday, and has also called for further regional integration. “We need to take care of ourselves. That’s the only way, that’s the only approach. Everything else would be very irresponsible,” Vucic told the Financial Times.
Serbia is pressured to cut ties with Russia, China and Turkey and to give up Kosovo, which would, the EU had often promised, result in a quicker European integration, but the latest move from Brussels makes the prospects look quite doubtful.
Vucic pointed to a notable comment from French President Emmanuel Macron, who essentially told Macedonia and Albania that the fault is not in their level of reforms but with the EU’s ability to accept new members.