Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told reporters on Friday that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called Belgrade “in a determined and sharp manner” to join in the sanctions against Russia.
“The Chancellor asked Serbia in a determined and sharp manner to join in the sanctions against the Russian Federation, that is to support the restrictive measures that the European Union introduced and I spoke of our position and the specific situation with Kosovo, energy and traditional relations with Russia,” Vucic said at a joint news conference.
According to Vucic, “Scholz brought a new energy and new hope for everyone in the Western Balkans”. “He wants to hear everyone in the Western Balkans and wants real prospects for EU expansion which is an important, excellent message for everyone in the Western Balkans,” he said.
Vucic said that Serbia will have to achieve faster progress in terms of rule of law, human rights and all other issues important for European integration. “We spoke of other important issues which are not always in full agreement on and that is Kosovo and the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue,” he added.
Scholz pledged Germany’s support for Serbia in the EU accession process.
The German Chancellor said that the focus is on Ukraine and the “senseless war for Russia’s imperialistic vision which is why it’s important for the EU and everyone else to show solidarity with Ukraine and help defend it,” he said adding that the sanctions are part of that effort. “It’s important for as many countries as possible to join the sanctions because that helps Ukraine …. sanctions are very efficient,” Scholz said. “We expect all EU candidate countries to join the sanctions,” he added.
He said Germany’s stand on Kosovo is well known. “What we need now is more engagement in the process to achieve progress,” he said, adding that both sides have to contribute without blocking anything and taking the series of step leading to goal.
Scholz said that Germany can contribute to achieving the ambition of EU membership. “That is something that I am committed to. It won’t be possible in six months, it will take time but it would be good to help it along with great courage. The accession process has brought great changes to every country… I want to encourage you and say that you can count on us for support,” he said.