French Ambassador to Belgrade Pierre Cochard said that the fact that Serbia is refusing to impose sanctions on Russia is affecting Serbia’s image in the European public.
Cochard told Radio-Television Vojvodina that Paris is “surprised by the echo seen in the Serbian media, press, even in public opinion polls” regarding the attitude towards the Russian war in Ukraine.
It is surprising to see just how mildly the regime in Russia is perceived, which is causing so much death and destruction in a European country. It is important for Serbia to align with its European choice and to demonstrate, by its decisions, that such Russian regime’s behavior in Ukraine is unacceptable, Cochard told The Right Angle show.
Cochard said France “understands the specific character of the Serbian situation” given its friendly relations with Moscow and great energy dependence on Russia, but added that accession to the European Union (EU) “is what Serbia has chosen” which means aligning with the EU.
We want for Serbia to say that what is happening in Ukraine is absolutely unacceptable, which is what Serbia did in the UN and other international forums. There are other countries in Europe that are very much energy dependent on Russia yet which have firmly decided to find different energy sources. We are prepared to help Serbia diversify its energy sources, said the French diplomat.