Serbia must follow the EU lead in embargoing Russia and recognize its breakaway province of Kosovo as an independent state if it hopes to join the bloc some day, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Friday. At a press conference in Belgrade after his meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Scholz also said that the anti-Russian sanctions won’t end once the fighting in Ukraine stops.
“It is important that many countries join the sanctions, because in addition to deliveries of weapons that is something that helps Ukraine defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Scholz said. “We expect all candidates for EU membership to join the sanctions as well.”
Brussels has so far adopted six “packages” of anti-Russian sanctions, with the most recent one including a phased ban on oil imports. These EU sanctions are “not something that will end when the hostilities are over,” Scholz said in Belgrade.
Instead, the German chancellor explained, Russia must accept it “cannot dictate the terms of peace” to Ukraine and guarantee Kiev’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, before the EU would consider lifting the embargo.