German envoy says Berlin wants Serbia to impose sanctions on Russia.

NEWS 10.05.2022 11:11
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Source: N1

The German government’s envoy for the Western Balkans Manuel Sarrazin told N1 that Berlin wants Belgrade to introduce sanctions against Russia, at least gradually, and get the dialogue with Pristina moving forward.

“We want Serbia to reinforce its stand on Russia, introduce sanctions at least gradually and get the dialogue on normalization with Pristina moving finally,” he said adding that he will go to Pristina to tell the authorities there that they need to do more. “I will pass that message to both sides because that is important for the future of the region,” he said.

The German envoy said that Serbia is expected to express a clear stand on Russia and the war in Ukraine. “You have to have a clear stand on that war and we expect the Serbian government to state that clearly in words and deeds. We saw that at the vote in the UN and we expect Serbia to align with the EU sanctions,” he said. Sarrazin warned that the Serbian authorities are still trying to sit on two chairs. “We expect Serbia to provide a clear sign that it understands (which road to take)…. I believe that Germany and the EU are more attractive for Serbia than (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s Russian empire,” he said.

Sarrazin said he isn’t sure about what decision Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will take but added that “we have confidence that Serbian society will choose us”. “We expect you to adapt to us but at the same time we want to be open and show that you are welcome… We understand that this is not an easy road for Serbia and we want to walk down it together,” he said.

Sarrazin said that Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ government’s wants to create conditions for Serbia and the other five Western Balkan countries to move forward faster on the road to the European Union, adding that there is no time frame for what the EU expects of the region. He recalled that the German government decided to keep the Western Balkans in the focus of its European and foreign policy before the war broke out in Ukraine. “We realized when the war broke out that we can’t just turn our backs on the region,” Sarrazin said.