The Ambassador of the United States of America in Serbia, Christopher Hill, said that today’s Russia is “different” from that of the past, that Europeans and Americans understand this and that he hopes that Serbia will understand this and impose sanctions on it due to the invasion of Ukraine.
Hill rejected the claim that Serbia is under “tremendous pressure” for not imposing sanctions on Russia and added that the harmonization of foreign policy is part of its path to the EU.
– I don’t believe that there is a huge pressure on Serbia. Serbia was politely told several times that it should introduce sanctions, some were harsher than others, but there is an understanding that Serbia is in a unique situation – Hill added.
When asked why it is not enough that the Government of Serbia clearly condemned the Russian aggression against Ukraine and signed almost all the resolutions of the United Nations and the EU that refer to it, Hill said that this is true, but that Belgrade has gained a reputation for “trying to sit on two chairs” – to be close to both Russia and Europe.
Serbia cannot say: “We are some small poor country”
Speaking about the fact that Serbia is almost completely dependent on Russia when it comes to gas supply, Hill said that efforts should be made to find other sources of energy.
– One is the Bulgarian connector that works quite well, there are other ideas to bring liquefied gas to Serbia from other sources. Honestly, I don’t think Serbia is in a terrible situation this winter. Serbia, like other countries, must prepare for the long term – said Hil.
He also said that he understands that the price of that energy source is important for Serbia, which supplies cheaper gas from Russia, but added that this is why the EU tried to help it and pay for the increased gas prices.
– We all have to try harder to help. However, I am sorry, but Serbia cannot say: “We are some small poor country”. Serbia has its problems, but at the same time it is a very successful country. It needs help, I’m not saying it’s not like that, but other countries are also waiting in line for help and we have to help other countries as well, because Russia has turned energy resources into weapons – the American ambassador added.
“I hope that the frustrations due to the bombing have been overcome”
When asked how to explain to citizens that Serbia is prohibited from importing Russian oil, but Hungary, a member of the EU, is not, Hill said that in international politics “one standard does not apply to every country”.
– There are occasional deviations from the uniform standard, I understand the question, but my answer is that we understand what Serbia’s needs are, we help as well as the EU. Other countries are also trying to help, like Azerbaijan and Norway. Serbia is not alone in this and it is extremely important in these times. It is important that they watch your back and help you, it is like a team sport compared to this behavior of Russia – he pointed out.
When asked if he understands the existence of strategic relations between Serbia and Russia, bearing in mind the issue of Kosovo, Hill said that it cannot be said that Russia “plays a positive role in relation to Kosovo” and helps Serbia while causing “an energy and food crisis in the world “.
– You must know that my government is interested in cooperating with the authorities in Belgrade and Pristina, as well as with the EU, in order to see if we can achieve some kind of progress – if it were not a difficult issue, it would have been resolved a long time ago. Hill stated.
When asked what he thinks about the relations between Serbia and the USA today and whether the frustrations due to the NATO bombing in 1999 have been overcome, Hill said that he hopes it has been overcome and stated that the USA wants the relations between the two countries to progress.
Source: Vesti online by www.vesti-online.com.
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