Sunday 4 December 2016

Serbia 'remains on path towards EU membership despite delays'

Published 01/07/2016 | 18:06

Serbian prime minister Aleksandar Vucic said the EU talks could continue in July or September
Serbian prime minister Aleksandar Vucic said the EU talks could continue in July or September

Serbia remains on the path towards EU membership even though the bloc has further delayed talks, the Balkan country's prime minister has said.

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Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday that he is "disappointed" by this week's decision but that it will not affect Serbia's "strategic road and determination".

"Serbia intends to remain on the EU road," he said. "If we have done something wrong, tell us."

The troubled nation has sought to join the EU after years of isolation during the war era in the 1990s.

It has become a candidate nation but is still waiting to open the next stage in the negotiations.

Mr Vucic said they could continue in July or September.

There are fears the delay could play into the hands of pro-Russian groups advocating abolishing the EU membership bid in favour of closer ties with Russia.

Serbian foreign minister Ivica Dacic - who has close ties to Moscow - has called the EU decision not to open the next negotiating stage with Serbia "shameful and humiliating".

Balkan integration into the EU is considered key for stability of the volatile region.

AP

Press Association

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