Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia's President, said on Friday "it is important to be a part of the European Union, but even more significant to survive and secure future for our children, no matter what formal framework we are in," the Beta news agency reported.
In his article for the Belgrade Kurir tabloid, Vucic added that "we can't do anything (from the above) on our own and that's why we need friends."
Summarising his impressions after the Berlin summit of the Western Balkans leaders last Monday and his trip to Beijing, Vucic noted that "there are opportunities that should not be missed and that Berlin was one of them," adding the problems in the region could not be solved without Europe.
"A part of the Balkans did not understand it. (Bosnian Prime Minister Denis) Zvizdic, (Kosovo's Prime Minister Ramush) Haradinaj, (Kosovo's President (Hashim) Thaci underestimated Europe, (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel and (French President Emmanuel) Macron in the way unheard-of in history," Vucic wrote.
He added that Berlin was "a point from which it is determined whether we will spend the next year with gigabytes or myths; fast or slow; in development, or arguments and divisions."
Vucic also said that during the Berlin summit "our Balkan divisions, petty interests, the narcissism of small differences were more important to some regional politicians than the need to solve something in a compromise."
"For what else (they did it) if not for collecting cheap political points for domestic use or praise of some powers? I don't know, but I do know that in the end, Europe won't step back aware that this is its area and that this problem is its problem," Vucic wrote.
He mentioned he had important meetings in Beijing with Chinese and Russian presidents, but added that "regardless of the increasing power of China and Russia and enormous US strength, we have to understand that without the Germans and French, but also the Italians and other Europeans, we won't solve any of our problems in future."