Pro-Russian groups in Serbia hail Brexit

Pro-Russian groups in Serbia hail Brexit

Belgrade, June 25, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Milos Mitrovic

Serbian reactions on United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union are mixed: Prime Minister, President and other high ranking officials are cautious in their comments and they unanimously stress that country would continue its path toward EU membership.

At the same time, pro-Russian parliamentary parties – and some of them are members of the ruling majority – hail the triumph of Brexit predicting the collapse of the EU and Serbian turning to “its own interests”.

Each nation behaves in accordance with its interests, Premier Aleksandar Vucic said at the special press conference on Friday. “They (British) go in their way and they believe their decision was best possible option. We will give our best to preserve and improve our relations with Great Britain and I think we will make it”, Vucic said.

Though he called Brexit “the biggest earthquake since the Berlin Wall fall”, Vucic also claimed it would not affect Serbian economic growth. PM predicts it would reach 2.5 percent of the GDP in 2016.

President Tomislav Nikolic underlined that Serbia would not change its “Euro-integration policy”. “Serbia would certainly continue its path toward full EU membership because this is the method to reform our country following the highest legal standards”, Nikolic’s cabinet stated.

Unlike Vucic, public administration and local self-government minister Kori Udovicki says she is worried considering Brexit’s effects on Serbian economy. In her words, British decision may affect economic growth in Europe, including Serbia. “Many things depend on how EU would react on this challenge”, Udovicki said adding “there’s nothing worse than uncertainty”.

Nenad Popovic, leader of the Serbian National Party (SNP), a member of Vucic’s coalition that won April general elections, said that Brexit marks “formal start of Union’s collapse”. Serbia should recognize its interest with “cold head”, Popovic said.

Rightist opposition leaders were more open in judging Brexit. “The very survival of the EU is totally uncertain”, Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) leader Sanda RaskovicIvic said adding that the sense of further Serbian Euro-integration is put into question.

Serbian Movement “Dveri” leader BoskoObradovic congratulated British people decision they have made. “This is big day for Europe and all European nations should celebrate it as Independence Day.

Serbian Radical Party (SRS) leader Vojislav Seselj claimed that EU strives to collapse while “time has come for Serbia to turn to Russia”.