Serbia, Germany disagree over imposing sanctions on Russia

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Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz disagreed on the necessity to impose sanctions on Russia after their discussion on the Ukraine war.

The German Chancellor “in a decisive, clear and sharp manner” asked Serbia to join Western sanctions against Russia, and even offered help for the construction of energy capacities, Vucic told a press conference after their meeting here.

“I spoke about our position, and the specific situation which Serbia has around Kosovo and Metohija province,” Xinhua news agency quoted the President as saying, referring to the country’s southern province which unilaterally declared independence in 2008 after Serbia was heavily bombarded by NATO in 1999.

“As much as you like the integrity of Ukraine, we love the integrity of Serbia,” he said, reminding Russia’s support for Serbia’s territorial integrity at the UN Security Council, Serbia-Russia traditional friendship, and energy cooperation.

Vucic said that Serbia has a different position when it comes to the necessity to impose sanctions on Russia.

“We Serbia remember what sanctions look like and on the other hand we had a different kind of relations with the Russian side for centuries.”

Scholz voiced the European Union’s (EU) expectation that “all (EU) membership candidates should join those sanctions”, repeating Germany’s support for Serbia’s accession to the bloc.

Scholz’s Balkan tour started on Friday in Pristina and Belgrade.

The next stops include Greece, North Macedonia and Bulgaria.

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