The Russian Ambassador to Serbia, Alexander Chepurin said that bilateral economic relations between Serbia and Russia would undergo considerable changes with Serbia’s accession to the European Union.
At the Serbian Economic Summit, he called for the commencement of a dialogue on reducing the impact of the consequences of Belgrade’s European integration on Russia and Serbia.
– We wouldn’t want our bilateral economic relations to be damaged in the process of Serbia’s accession to the EU – Chepurin said.
He said that the changes would reflect on the free trade regime above all.
The EU is a unified economic area and member states may not have special economic relations or be part of free trade zones together with third countries – Chepurin explained.
He pointed out that, following Serbia’s accession to the EU, the Serbia-Russia free trade zone or the Serbian-Eurasian Economic Union would be forced to cease to exist.
– This will lead to a deterioration of the established trade routes of Serbia and Russia and the loss of companies between the two countries – Chepurin said.
He added that the termination of the free trade regime and Serbia’s shift to the unified customs area of the EU would lead to a more expensive export on both sides, as it was being carried out withing the duty-free regime for nearly all products at the moment. Some goods, as he underlined, would be replaced by third country products.
Furthermore, he said, the EU accession might also have consequences on the cooperation of Serbia and Russia in the area of energy.