EU should not harm Serbian-Russian partnership, Lavrov says

EU should not harm Serbian-Russian partnership, Lavrov says


By Milos Mitrovic – Belgrade

Serbia-EU accession negotiations does not harm strategic partnership between Serbia and Russia and “South Stream” project is in accordance with international law, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in the interview for “Politika” daily.

Serbia is among seven European countries participating in “South Stream” project focused on constructing a pipeline to transport Russian natural gas through the Black Sea to Bulgaria and further to Greece, Italy and Austria.

Earlier this week European Commission announced it would not depart from the position that agreements on “South Stream” between six EU member states and Russia should be reviewed as they are not in line with EU regulations, while the European Energy Community will deal with Serbia, which has a similar agreement with Russia, Tanjug news agency learned.

Lavrov, however, told “Politika” that “South Stream” is “inseparable part of international law and Brussels cannot revise it unilaterally”.

“For us, it is important that Belgrade’s rapprochement with European Union, which is the official start of accession negotiations … does not harm our partnership as well as the implementation of major projects in infrastructure and economy, including energy sector. We are convinced that our Serbian friends share the same position”, Lavrov stressed in the interview which will be published on Sunday.

Serbia-EU accession talks started on January 21.

The relations between Serbia and Russia cannot be “hostages” of external factors Lavrov said adding that two countries are connected through “profound friendship, understanding and confidence, as well as tradition lasting through centuries, closeness of people and remembrance on brotherhood in arms”.