The European Western Balkans (EWB) website reported that members of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) approved 29 amendments to the resolution of the rapporteur for Serbia Vladimir Bilcik and appealed to the Serbian authorities to work harder for reforms and get back on the “right track for EU integration.”
The amendments say they “strongly regret” that Serbia has not yet complied with EU sanctions after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “The newly elected authorities are urged to show real and unequivocal commitment to EU values, standards and rules as soon as possible and to urgently align with EU foreign and security policy decisions and positions, including sanctions,” the AFET says.
According to the text of the amendment, further opening of negotiation clusters will take place only when Serbia assumes the mentioned obligations. The Serbian government is urged to re-evaluate its economic cooperation with Russia, while MEPs also objected to “continued flights between Belgrade and Moscow at a time when EU airspace is closed to flights to and from Russia.”
Concerns are also expressed over allegations of interception of Russian opposition figures in Belgrade by Serbian authorities and the alleged subsequent transfer of material to Russian security services.
AFET also underlines that any cooperation that could contribute to authoritarian and undemocratic practices in Russia and Serbia would be detrimental to future relations between the EU and Serbia. In the amendments, MEPs call on the Serbian authorities to provide convincing results in anti-corruption investigations, especially in cases of high public interest, as well as in the legal resolution of the Savamala neighbourhood demolition case and Veljko Belivuk’s organized crime group.
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