US official tells VOA Serbia should speed up path to Europe

NEWS 01.07.2022 20:12
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A State Department spokesman told the Voice of America that Serbia should speed up its progress on the path to Europe.

“Serbia should accelerate steps to advance its European path, including diversifying energy sources to reduce energy reliance on Russia, and aligning its foreign and security policies with the EU,” the unnamed spokesman said.

The spokesman said that Washington “continues to strongly support Serbia’s goal of European Union membership, which requires continued progress on normalizing Kosovo-Serbia relations through the EU-facilitated Dialogue”.

According to the spokesman, “the future of the Western Balkans is squarely within the EU; enlargement promotes long-term peace, stability, and prosperity throughout the region”.

“Robust, inclusive and EU compatible regional initiatives like Open Balkan and Common Regional Market are foundational to energizing Western Balkan economies and moving the region closer to Europe’s Single Market. The US supports these and other complementary initiatives to collectively deepen regional economic cooperation and advance its European path. Closer cooperation within the Western Balkans will attract investment in energy, banking, manufacturing, services and other sectors to a market of 20 million educated workers and clients in the heart of Europe,” the spokesman said, adding that “Russia clearly does not support EU accession for Western Balkan countries and seeks to only sow division in the region”.