Another crack among the members of the European Union, as it concerns the war in Ukraine, may open as soon as next week at the meeting of the leaders of the member states in Brussels, because of none other than — Serbia.

Namely, more and more countries are against the radical approach of intense pressure on Belgrade to impose sanctions on Moscow, that is being “pushed” by Berlin, as they believe that this policy is counterproductive and could only further strengthen our relations with Russia.

At this time, members of this front of European countries which are in favor of increased understanding for the specific position and attitudes of Serbia relating to the expectations that we take a side in the Ukrainian-Russian conflict include Italy, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Portugal, then Czechia and Slovenia, as well as the countries which do not recognize the independence of Kosovo — Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Slovakia and Romania.

According to diplomatic sources in the European Union, even the official Paris has a significantly milder position than Germany, whose Chancellor Olaf Scholz conditioned our country’s membership in the Union on recognizing the false state of Kosovo and openly requested that we immediately join the restrictive measures against Russia. To support the thesis that the French President Emmanuel Macron is in favor of a “middle road” as it relates to the policy of the Union towards Belgrade, they cited his proposal to create an European Geopolitical Community, in order to provide a certain European perspective for the candidate countries, but also reward progress in making reforms by opening the Brussels coffers.

The official Vienna has also taken a similar course, issuing a “non-paper” after Macron’s proposal about the gradual integration of candidate countries, which also includes a significant amount of financial aid from Brussels.

Greece Also Appointed An Emissary

The “flood” of special emissaries for the region appointed by the member countries also speaks to the differences within the European Union regarding the policy towards the Western Balkans, and especially Serbia. So a special emissary of Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, which is ascending to the presidency in Brussels on July 1, will shortly begin to mind this region. Brussels (Miroslav Lajčák) and Berlin (Manuel Sarrazin) already have their own “specials”, as well as Washington (Gabriel Escobar) and the United Kingdom (Stuart Peach).

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias also appointed yesterday the Greek Ambassador to Romania Sofia Grammata as a special emissary of that ministry for the West Balkans. Our contacts say that the big powers want to assert their dominance in the region by doing this, but also that the numerous emissaries often only add to the confusion in the already delicate situation in the Balkans.

Germany, which has intensely tightened the noose around Serbia, for now counts with the support of its traditional allies, the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as the countries with a strong anti-Russian sentiment, such as Poland and the Baltic countries, but also some of our neighbors, more precisely, Croatia.

The Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama has also cautioned that the policy of putting pressure of Serbia could bounce back to Brussels like a boomerang, calling on the European Union to not pressure Belgrade into imposing sanctions on Russia. He said that the Union ought to be more understanding of Serbia’s position regarding that, and warned that the pressure from the West could be detrimental to the entire region. Retired diplomat Zoran Milivojević said to Novosti that this position of Rama’s is a result of realpolitik and the fact that the relations between Serbia and Albania are on an upwards trajectory.

“Certainly, this does not mean that Tirana will change its position on Kosovo and Metohija, but these messages are good, because they create a favorable atmosphere for making progress in the relations regardless of the unresolved issues between Serbia and Albania. When it comes to the European Union, there are two levels of countries, those which are in favor of the line of a harder approach to Serbia, and those who are in favor of a more constructive policy in order to avoid the negative counter-effects of blackmail and conditions. The current most important topic in the European Union are the sanctions against Russia, and in that regard the key countries are following the policy of Washington to unconditionally insist on those measures.”

Srđan Graovac from the Center for Social Stability pointed out that despite the fact that the European Union makes decisions by consensus and that each member’s vote has an equal value, it is also well known whose voice is the loudest:

“On the one hand, the largest countries, such as Germany, also have the largest impact, but the Ukrainian crisis has shown that a single veto is sufficient to entirely block the decision-making process. For that reason, the nearly unconditional support that we receive from Hungary is crucially important to Serbia, and there are several other countries which have more understanding for Serbia. It is good that there is an awareness in the European Union that the policy of harsh punishment to Serbia would, after all, not be met with universal support.

A summit of the European Council is being held on Brussels on June 23 and 24, and on the second day of the meeting of European leaders, there will be a high-level conference on the West Balkans, and leaders from the region will be in attendance.

Petković on European Parliament Member: Viola Will Not Set Our Path

The Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Petar Petković estimated that the rapporteur of the European Parliament for Kosovo, Viola von Cramon, went too far when she stated that Serbia could not become a member of the European Union until it recognized the so-called Kosovo.

Petar Petković

“When Viola von Cramon says that Serbia may not join the EU until it recognizes the so-called Kosovo, does she mean the same EU that has Spain, Romania, Slovakia, Cyprus and Greece?, said Petković.

He also asked where did the so-called Kosovo’s lobbyists get the idea that Von Cramon could determine Serbia’s path towards the European Union?

In addition to recognizing Kosovo, this member of the European Parliament also listed joining the sanctions against Russia as a mandatory condition for the advancement of Serbia on its European path.