Serbia will have to terminate a new trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union when it joins the European Union, the European Commission has said.
“Serbia can enter into agreements with other countries or organizations before joining the EU. However, in the context of the accession negotiations, Serbia has pledged to withdraw from all bilateral trade agreements on the day of EU accession,” the EU Observer reports, quoting the European Commission.
The commission’s comments came after a meeting between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Russian Ambassador Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, who said the deal would grant Serbia access to a market with a capacity of over 180 million people.
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The EU’s single market in comparison currently comprises over 500 million consumers, worth 17 trillion euro.
Botsan-Kharchenko said in a tweet that “this is a significant event” which “the media is paying due attention to”.
The same message was conveyed by the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, David McAllister.
“The text of the free trade agreement with Russia should also have an exit clause, which would guarantee that Serbia can withdraw from the agreement following its accession to the EU”, McAllister warned.
Brussels: No new conditions will be imposed
Serbia’s accession into the EU and the common European market entails, as in the case of all other candidate countries, the harmonization of all trade agreements, including the Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union, Tanjug reported.
“This is not a new condition but the basic position of all accession negotiations. It is a general rule and pure logic,” they say in Brussels, demanding that Serbia, on its accession to the EU, terminate bilateral trade agreements with third countries or organizations, including the Eurasian Economic Union.
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