Serbia Dismayed by Croatia over EU Membership: Independence and the Russian Federation
Ramazan Khalidov, Chika Mori, and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The government of Serbia is dismayed by Croatia over negative progress towards European Union (EU) membership. Yet, with the United Kingdom exiting the EU and other nations threatening to alter course, then it could be a blessing in disguise for Serbia. After all, the strings attached to joining the EU is likely to erode the independence of Serbia.
Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia may point the finger openly at Croatia but other undercurrents persist equally. For example, Serbia stated openly that NATO membership was out of the question. Equally important, Serbia opposes sanctions against the Russian Federation and the Kosovo issue remains divisive. Therefore, the EU is most likely making the most of Croatia’s complaint in order to seek the capitulation of Serbia – this, a natural follow on from the dismantlement of Yugoslavia.
The BBC reports, “Serbia’s anger at Croatia – which joined the EU in 2013 – contrasted with the warmth Serbia afforded Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on his visit to Belgrade on Monday.”
Ivica Dacic, the Foreign Minister of Serbia, is deeply alarmed by the negative posturing of Croatia. Dacic said, “If Croatia is the one to decide if Serbia becomes an EU member, then I have suddenly lost interest.”
Lavrov made it abundantly clear that “Russia will not interfere in the internal affairs of Serbia. We are always ready to find a balance in our interests.”
In saying that, it is clear that the Russian Federation seeks greater cooperation with Serbia based on mutual respect and the understanding of the Kosovo issue. Indeed, the Kosovo issue remains an open wound for Serbia because in history it is clear that the cradle of Serbian Orthodox Christianity and Kosovo are intertwined.
The Russian Federation and Serbia seek closer cooperation in many important fields, for example, economics, infrastructural development, security issues, and other areas. Yet, political elites in Moscow are not interested in a diktat because the Serbian people remain independent despite the brutality of the Ottoman Empire and Nazi Germany – to name just two terrible realities in the history of the Serbian people.
Irrespective of the current anti-Russian Federation policies of the EU towards this nation, it is clear that Croatia is ironically helping Serbia to focus on being independent just like the legacy of Yugoslavia. In other words, it is Croatia and the diktats of the EU that will ultimately pull Serbia away. Therefore, nations including the Russian Federation and the Visegrad Group consisting of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland, will gain at the expense of the EU unless a new course is taken that reassures Serbia.
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Photo source: Kremlin.ru