MAJOR: Serbia DEFIES EU, moves to sign trade agreement with Russia’s Eurasian Union

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BRUSSELS – The European Commission of the EU has condemned Serbia for what it sees as a move that further jeopardizes the Balkan state’s potential to join the EU. According to the EC of the EU,  Serbia must terminate the new trade agreement with the EAEU before joining the European Union. This was explicitly stated in a message from the European Commission, published today, August 29th. The EC recognizes that Serbia as a non-member still has the right to engage in such agreements, but that such agreements are incompatible with membership, and would need to terminate these agreements with Russia’s EAEU before joining the EU.

“Serbia has the right to sign agreements with other states or organizations before joining the European Union. Nevertheless, in the framework of the EU accession negotiations, Serbia committed to terminate all bilateral trade agreements on the day of entry into the community, ”the US Observer quoted the text of the message.

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The document emphasizes that the European Commission reminded Serbia of its obligations after the statement of the Ambassador of Russia to Serbia, Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko , that it is planned to sign a trade agreement between Belgrade and the EAEU on October 25. According to David Macalister , Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Policy Committee , the text of the free trade agreement with Russia, which has been in force since 2000, should guarantee Serbia the opportunity to withdraw from the treaty at the time of joining the EU.

Recall that the Serbian Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Lajic said earlier in an interview with RIA Novosti that on October 25 an agreement on the Free Trade Zone between Serbia and the EAEU will be signed in Moscow, which will significantly increase the export of certain categories of Serbian goods.

The Progressive Party led government of Serbia officially supports EU integration, but has not moved substantively forward in this direction since gaining substantial influence in government in 2012. Serbia has faced repeated condemnation from the EU for its moves towards the Russian sphere of influence.

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