“Currently, there is no danger of the EU imposing sanctions on Serbia, but everything that happened recently is the first step that could lead to such an outcome,” Goran Miletić, director of Civil Rights Defenders for Europe, told Danas daily.
Commenting on the news that came from the European Parliament that MEPs will request the EU to impose sanctions against Serbia due to the murder of a Kosovo policeman in Banjska, the seizure of a huge amount of weapons and indications that the official Belgrade was behind the incident, Miletić says that it is clear that “Serbia is seen as a villain”.
“Serbia is now seen as a villain and the narrative from the 1990s will very easily make a comeback, regardless of the fact that the government-controlled media is trying to convince us that the West hates us. The next important point is that Serbia will now be under a lot of scrutiny and the question of imposing sanctions on Serbia will always linger,” notes Miletić.
The pressure will mount…
Therefore, the pressure will grow, he adds, as there will be more and more demands to impose sanctions.
“The release of Milan Radoičić from detention is another wrong decision that will be an argument that there is no independent judiciary in Serbia, which is why many advocate sanctions as a response,” concludes Goran Miletić.
Members of the European Parliament said on Tuesday, October 3, that an impartial investigation into the armed conflict in the north of Kosovo is needed and that those responsible should be brought to justice.
They criticized Belgrade’s rhetoric and demanded sanctions for Serbia, but also for Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti due to stalling the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. They also called for more KFOR units to be deployed in the north of Kosovo.
According to Sofija Popović, a journalist from the European Western Balkans website, unlike the United States, the impression is that the European Union is much more cautious even in the assessment of what happened last week in Banjska.
“We could hear several calls for an investigation, but also that Brussels will wait for the end of the investigation before taking any measures against Serbia. Even before this conflict, the EU made it clear to Serbia that the same measures that were introduced against Kosovo could apply to Serbia if the official Belgrade does not act according to Brussels’ demands. What happened is certainly not in accordance with the EU’s wishes for the continuation of the dialogue and preservation of peace and stability,” says Popović.
However, she thinks that Serbia is not that close to being sanctioned, especially if we take into account that such a decision will require a consensus within the EU.
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