Russia is urging the European Union to abandon its “neocolonial ambitions” and adhere to an equal approach based on respect towards the countries in the Western Balkans, said today Alexei Zaitsev, Deputy Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. According to TASS, Zaitsev pointed out the statement of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz following his meeting with Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti, saying that “the Western Balkans belong to Europe” and will become part of the European Union in the future.

He said that the EU officials are using such non-binding statements to give encouragement to countries in the Western Balkan, which are increasingly disappointed with the delays in their process of approaching the EU.

According to the Russian diplomat, Moscow has repeatedly condemned the “insidious practice” of using the EU membership ambitions of the countries in the region for “evident blackmail, disloyal competition and pushing out investments” from countries that are not EU members, but make a tangible contribution to the social and economical growth and stability in the Western Balkans.

He said that, under the pretext of following Brussels policy, the peoples of the Balkans are forced to support the anti-Russian sanctions and faced with the artificial choice between the EU or Russia, while there is no guarantee of EU membership in the foreseeable future.

“We urge the European Union to abandon its neocolonial ambitions and adhere to an equal approach based on respect towards neighboring countries, including the Western Balkans,” said Zaitsev.