Fabrizi: Vucic's message about Belgrade's road to EU clear and important

NEWS 24.04.2020 13:47
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Source: Tanjug/Dragan Kujundžić

Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday he and his country were grateful to the European Union for its financial and all other aid and solidarity, not only during the coronavirus pandemic but also at the time of significant floods in 2014, N1 reported.

 „We are on the European road, and we want to organise our country in line with European standards and rules. Our only differences were regarding the Kosovo energy issue, and some other topics related to Kosovo,“ Vucic said.

He spoke after the meeting with the EU ambassadors to Serbia which he described as „good, open and very long.“

„Serbia will gladly accept good words as well as criticism coming from the EU, but will also preserve the right to think for itself and to respond to the words as it believes it should,“ Vucic said.

The head of EU Delegation to Serbia Sem Fabrizi said it was important that Vucic’s „message about the country’s path to the EU was clear.“

The meeting came after the EU had to reiterate it was worried about Serbia’s undermining the bloc’s aid and glorifying everything it received from China and Russia.

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On Friday, however, Vucic mentioned that the EU helped Serbia to fight the pandemic with 93 million Euros, 15 of which for urgent medical needs, and 78 million in support of the economic recovery.

„We also thank (you) for donations in goods worth 4,922,648 Euro,“ Vucic said, adding the most of those goods would arrive in May.

He said Serbia had offered its help to the EU member states since, as he put it, Belgrade had more protective gears and ventilators than it needed.

„Two-thirds of our trade is with the EU countries, and a total of trade exchange was almost 26 billion Euro last year,“ Vucic said.

He added that the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) from the EU in the last decade were some 15 billion Euro and that it was important for that trend to continue.

Fabrizi said Belgarde enjoyed the unanimous EU support of the way it fought the epidemic, adding Serbia „has proved its health system took the burden and passed the test,“ and that the EU donations helped in responding to the pandemic.

„We helped Serbia as much as we could. We delivered masks, ventilators, tests, oxygen apparatus… We are ready to continue (to work) with the respective institutions in the country,“ Fabrizi said.

He also stressed the importance of the link between Serbia’s and EU’s economies. „Serbia is a part of the European economy with 70 percent of the FDI coming from the EU, and over 60 percent of the country’s foreign trade with the block.“