Tuesday, 06 May 2014. PDF Print E-mail
Serbia cannot impose sanctions on Russia
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Ivica DacicMinister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic stated that Serbia could not impose sanctions on Russia, because Moscow never instituted sanctions against Belgrade, emphasizing that Serbia was making an effort to maintain a balanced position regarding Ukraine.

"We are trying to have a balanced position. Prime Minister Vucic and I explained this to Catherine Ashton, as well. Our position is based on two principles. The first one is that Serbia respects the territorial integrity of every Member State of the United Nations, including Ukraine. The other one is that Serbia cannot impose sanctions on Russia, because Russia never instituted sanctions against Serbia. This balance is in our national interest", explained Foreign Minister Dacic in his interview to the Viennese daily "Die Presse".

Dacic went on to say that Serbia had learnt "the hard way" that international law could interpret territorial integrity and sovereignty in relative terms.

"We are therefore reluctant to listen to drawing parallels between Kosovo and Ukraine, regardless of the side it is coming from", Dacic said. "Kosovo is a case of violation of international law and everything that followed is the consequence of that violation. For this reason, we are not happy to hear anyone making references to Kosovo in the context of Ukraine", Dacic emphasized.

Replying to the question as to whether, one year after the Brussels Agreement, the relations with Pristina could be characterized as "normal", Dacic said that we were still far from normalization but that some progress had been made.

With regard to the Kosovo army, Dacic stated that Kosovo's army would be in contravention of all UN decisions according to which only international forces could be deployed in the territory of Kosovo.

He recalled that this was the reason that prompted Serbia to request the convening of an emergency session of the UN Security Council, which did not take place because of the crisis in Ukraine, adding that this would be discussed at the regular UNSC session, on 27 May.

Commenting on Serbia's domestic policy, Dacic stated that Serbia currently faced a difficult situation and that it was necessary to find the best possible programme for its economic recovery, no matter whether it would be in line with party manifestoes or not. Dacic concluded that unless economic progress was made, there could be no social justice, either.