Stano: Relations with Russia can’t be business as usual


European Commission spokesman Peter Stano warned on Monday that relations with Russia can’t be business as usual under current circumstances.

Commenting the consultations plan signed by the Serbian and Russian foreign ministers at the UN in New York, Stano said that this raises serious questions.

He recalled that Russia is violating the UN Charter every day with its armed forces committing atrocities in Ukraine. “In these circumstances we are seeing the Serbian Foreign Ministry agreeing on regular consultations with the foreign ministry of a country which is committing all these acts. It’s a very clear sign of their intention to strengthen their ties, to further strengthen relations between Serbia and Russia and this is raising serious questions,” he said.

“The European Union was very clear with partner countries, especially countries that are in the EU accession process such as candidate country Serbia, that relations with Russia under current circumstances cannot be business as usual with this regime which is committing so many crimes and atrocities. We are taking this very seriously and we are following this up,” he said.

Stano recalled that Serbia declared EU accession its strategic priority, committed to the EU path with hope becoming a member state. “This decision implies alignment with European policies, including on foreign policy issues,” the EU spokesman said.