Imposing sanctions against Russia remains the main issue between Belgrade and Brussels.
In his speech on Saturday, President Aleksandar Vučić hinted at the idea of Serbia aligning with the EU decision, alluding to the fact that Russia eventually imposed sanctions on Serbia in the 1990s, even though it did not have to. The President’s message is that the current position of Belgrade will be valid as long as the benefit outweighs the harm for Serbia.
The decision, analysts believe, could be made by the new government, which is supposed to be formed by 1st November, as the president said.
“We give ourselves the right to hold such a position until the moment when the harm caused to Serbia will be greater than anything else and we will have to admit that the desire of some to destroy the position of Belgrade is such that we have to accept a different reality,” said the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić.
In order to determine what harm from not introducing sanctions against Russia would force Serbia to change its position, one must first determine what benefits remain from fraternal relations with Russia.
“They (Russia) support us regarding Kosovo, i.e. the non-admission of Kosovo to the United Nations, we have their support for the survival of the Republic of Srpska through the Peace Implementation Council, and we have lower gas prices,” says a political analyst Dragomir Anđelković.
Two of the three benefits listed, at least from the point of view of the European Union, which Serbia still formally strives to join, have nothing to do with the quality of life of Serbian citizens, because, for Brussels, things are clear, neither Kosovo nor the Republic of Srpska, are part of Serbia. The question remains – when will the harm (of not introducing the sanctions) outweigh the benefits (of imposing sanctions)?
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