International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Serbia still has room to introduce sanctions on Russia

May 7, 2022
Western countries see the recognition of the independence of Kosovo by Serbia as a solution to the problem and the absence of a frozen conflict, and thus less influence of Russia in this region, Stefan Surlic, the assistant professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade said Saturday. He pointed out that Pristina has great ambitions to use the opportunity of the war in Ukraine and to apply for EU membership. He also estimated that Serbia still has manoeuvring room not to impose sanctions on Russia.
„I think that the latest messages from Berlin are very clear, there is understanding for Serbia’s complex position, but also mutual promises,“ said Surlic.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that Western countries would put more pressure on Serbia to recognize Kosovo, in order to deny the argument that the President of Russia relies on regarding the self-proclaimed Donect and Luhansk republics (DPR and LPR).
„Western countries see the recognition of the independence of Kosovo by Serbia as a solution to that problem and the absence of any frozen conflict, and thus less influence of Russia on this region,“ says Surlic.
However, he said, with Kosovo and the special status of Kosovo, Pandora's box has been opened.
"All nations and countries around the world that have similar aspirations and demands are actually calling on Kosovo, and I think that that will not be prevented even if Serbia in some case recognizes Kosovo's independence. Even Russia can invoke, as in previous cases, that Ukraine has an obligation to recognize the annexation of Crimea as well as the states of Donetsk and Lugansk," said Surlic.
When asked through which channels these pressures will flow, if the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina is blocked at the highest level, Surlic points to the formal and informal ones. According to him, the formal channel is a dialogue mediated by Brussels and Miroslav Lajcak, but the informal channels are Washington and Berlin.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbia-still-has-room-to-introduce-sanctions-on-russia/

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