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Serbia cannot move both towards Russia and EU: "Signing of the agreement is confusing"

Serbia is due to sign a trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union on October 25

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Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak believes that the announced signing of the Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Union is not bringing Serbia closer to its strategic goal, which is EU membership.

"If you are serious about your European orientation then follow the political choices that bring you closer to it. This step is not one of them," Lajcak said.

Speaking while arriving to a meeting with representatives of the Western Balkans in Helsinki, the Slovak foreign minister said that the announcement of the signing of the trade agreement with a "pro-Russian grouping" by Serbia was "confusing" and that "one cannot move in several directions at once."

Serbia is set to sign the trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union on October 25, while the Free Trade Agreement between Serbia and Russia has been in place since 2000.


Lajcak today urged Pristina to abolish its taxes on Serbian goods and stressed that the reality is that Kosovo has not been recognized by five EU members.

Lajcak recalled the facts as he was arriving at a meeting of EU and Western Balkans foreign ministers in Helsinki, while answering journalists' questions about Kosovo's position in the European integration process.

"Kosovo is a problem because it has not been recognized by five EU member states. That is the reality of Kosovo," Lajcak said.

Asked if he saw the possibility of this situation changing, the Slovak foreign minister - whose country is one of the EU member states who don't recognize Kosovo - replied by saying what he primarily wants to see in Kosovo itself.

"The first change I want to see are positive developments in Kosovo, starting with the abolition of taxes," concluded Lajcak.


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