The European Parliament’s rapporteur for Serbia, Vladimir Bilčik, said today that Kosovo is far from joining the European Union, but that Pristina is working with the Union “very decisively” on the issue of harmonizing positions towards Russian brutal aggression, and that this is also expected from Belgrade.

“We are far from Kosovo joining the European Union, but it creates space for the dialogue to continue. Without the normalization of those relations, I think it is difficult to talk about the European future of most regions. Also, I must say frankly, the authorities in Pristina are working with us very decisively on the matter of harmonizing positions towards Russian brutal aggression, and that is something we expect from Belgrade as well,” he told Juronjuz.

He repeated that the Serbian authorities should work with the Union on reforms, on progress in the dialogue with Pristina and on sanctions against Russia.

“We need to see progress on economic and structural reforms, including energy. We would like to see a clear plan from the new government on the diversification of energy sources, especially in anticipation of the coming winter. We are all cutting off the supply of Russian fossil fuels, gas and oil, because “Russia has become an unreliable partner. We cannot cooperate with Russia, because it attacked Ukraine, a sovereign country. Fossil fuels are also used as a weapon, but also as a means of influencing certain governments, including governments in the Western Balkans,” said Bilchik.
The European Union, he added, is ready to work with Serbian partners to ensure that Serbia has other sources of natural gas and oil, as well as other forms of energy.

When it comes to the invasion of Ukraine, he pointed out that Serbia stands out as a country that has not complied with numerous measures, “the rate of compliance is very, very low”.

“Sanctions are important, they are crucial. The enlargement train is moving through a very specific geopolitical situation, shaped by Russian aggression. At the moment, Serbia is not sitting at the front, but at the end of that train, and I hope that this year can change,” he added. is.

Bilčik emphasized that it is necessary to shift the focus from opening to closing the cluster.
“At this moment, politically, opening new clusters will be difficult. That is the reality. If significant progress is not made in all three areas – reforms, dialogue and reconciliation with us on issues of Russian aggression, opening new chapters will be difficult.” he said.

He also said that an agreement between Belgrade and Pristina could be reached in a few weeks or months, but that they are now quite far away.

“We saw some progress last year when it came to ID cards, but we also saw a number of differences – polarized rhetoric, violence for Orthodox Christmas Eve that could potentially lead to a serious tragedy. There are issues from the past that both sides need to resolve. We expect Pristina to find a solution to the promise regarding the formation of the Union of Serbian Municipalities. That is part of the promise and no one will give up on it,” added Bilčik.


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