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Serbia won't recognise Georgian regions – MFA

Georgia Materials 24 September 2008 15:47 (UTC +04:00)
Serbia won't recognise Georgian regions – MFA

Serbia will not follow Russia in recognising breakaway Georgian regions as independent states despite Russia's support for Serbia, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic was quoted as saying on Wednesday, reported Reuters.

"We will not do that," Jeremic said in an interview with Austrian newspaper Die Presse. Russia is a long-time Serbian ally and used its veto in the U.N. Security Council to try to block Kosovo's independence which has the backing of the United States and European powers. Moscow recognised the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states after its brief war with Georgia last month despite protests from Georgia and the West. "We are happy about Moscow's help on the Kosovo issue," Jeremic said. "But that is about protecting our national interests. We are not part of a Russian policy." Jeremic also called on the European Union to "unfreeze" the process of Serbia joining the bloc and reward Serbians for electing pro-EU leaders. Visa rules should be eased, he said. "It's very important to take advantage of the momentum of EU enthusiasm in Serbia," he told Die Presse. "And the EU must at long last liberalise the visa system. People in Serbia must feel directly that the pro-European path is paying off and they are welcome in the union." (Reporting by Iain Rogers; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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