Serbia could fall into debt bondage to China

The director of the Belgrade-based Center for Security Policy (BCSP), Igor Bandovic, says that autocratic authorities in the Balkans have learned to speak the language of Brussels, but are getting increasingly closer to Moscow and China in terms of values.

He believes that that is not only the fault of the leaders of the region, but also the price of delaying the process of EU enlargement to include the Western Balkans, as well as the fact that Europe has not only lost its attractiveness, but also its strength.

“Nowadays, fresh loans mainly come from China, which, unlike the EU, does not set any special terms and conditions for credits, loans or grants for the Balkan countries,” Bandovic explains, noting that some countries have fallen into debt bondage to China and that the same thing could happen to Serbia as well.

Bandovic goes on to say that Serbia’s foreign policy is oriented towards China, which was also hinted at by Aleksandar Vucic, who said that he had lost faith in European solidarity and that China was Serbia’s only friend.

Commenting on the statement made by the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, that no new negotiation chapters would be open with the countries that are candidate members, Bandovic pointed out that that the policy of preventing and stopping negotiations was simply wrong.

“This will deter those countries who are on the crossroads deciding whether to take the Chinese or European path,” he assessed and warned that, without the continuation of accession negotiations, “there is no help for us.”

As he pointed out, the EU has its problems and currently has no enlargement ambitions so it is using excuses rather than real reasons to block accession efforts of a candidate country.  

Bandovic also thinks that the EU should be more actively engaged in order for Serbia to implement the necessary reforms.

“We are not able to do that alone. And without serious engagement from the EU’s side, we will not progress. If the EU does not want to help us, then our country will swerve off the European path,” Bandovic concluded.

(021.rs, 17.05.2021)

https://www.021.rs/story/Info/Srbija/274150/Neke-drzave-pale-su-u-duznicko-ropstvo-prema-Kini-to-bi-se-moglo-dogoditi-i-Srbiji.htm

 

 

This post is also available in: Italiano

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