Serbia Shocked with Croatia’s Decision to Block EU Accession Negotiations

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Serbia’s Prime Minister Vučić sends a stern message to Croatia.

Serbian government expressed its dismay that Croatia had decided not to support the European path of Serbia after Croatia did not give consent for the opening of Chapter 23 of the accession negotiations with the European Union. Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić said that Serbia would not fulfil the conditions that Croatia had put forward, reports Jutarnji List on April 9, 2016.

“The Government of the Republic of Serbia is stunned the Croatia has decided not to support the European path of Serbia. Croatia did not have a single valid reason for such decision. Serbia has taken note of such view of Croatia and Serbia will not allow anyone in Europe and the world to in any way blackmail, humiliate or belittle it”, said the Serbian government in a statement. The statement also quoted a message by Prime Minister Vučić that “Serbia is a country of libertarian people and will never be a punching bag for anyone”.

Earlier, Vučić said that Serbia would not beg anyone nor would it change its laws just because Croatia was demanding it.

On Friday, at a meeting of the working group for EU enlargement in Brussels, Croatia did not give its approval for the opening of Chapter 23 in negotiations between Serbia and the EU. The resumption of discussions is scheduled for next week. Croatia insists that the chapter benchmarks should include the abolishment of Serbia’s jurisdiction for war crimes in the entire territory of the former Yugoslavia, enforcement of protections for the Croatian minority and the full cooperation with the ICTY.

Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miro Kovač said on Friday in Zagreb that Croatia expected the European Commission to say how it would incorporate these criteria in negotiating benchmarks.

“We will not accept any ultimatums”, Vučić said again. Explaining that Serbia had all the time been protecting its own interests, and would continue to do so in the future, Vučić said that Serbia is now expected to beg. “Serbia is a country that is on its way to the EU, but has protected its freedom and independence”, said the Serbian Prime Minister.

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