Balsa Bozovic: Government and opposition to talk about sanctions against Russia
I am inviting the pro-European opposition to use the announced conversations with the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić about calming tensions in society and repeating the elections to initiate the most important issue for Serbia – a clear commitment to the country’s pro-European foreign policy. Vast majority of political players and actors, both the government and majority of the pro-European opposition, has been in a state of hibernation since the beginning of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and remains silent about Russia’s war crimes, crimes against humanity, murders and the danger the aggression poses to the rest of the world. It seems that they are in a state of shock from learning that Moscow, as a recent pillar of Serbian foreign policy, no longer exists in that sense. Serbia’s attitude towards sanctions against Russia will be reciprocal to the European Union’s attitude towards Serbia, and that is why Serbia has to make a decision – whether it is for a European Serbia or for an isolated Serbia. This is the most important issue for the future of our country. You can constantly repeat that you are for the continuation of Serbia’s European path, but if you do not harmonize your foreign and security policy with the foreign policy of the European Union and impose sanctions on Russia, absolutely no one will trust you or consider you a credible partner. Significantly more powerful and richer countries than Serbia had to swallow this bitter pill, Serbia also can and should do it.
The past elections in Serbia have shown that the future government has a historic task ahead – to decide what Serbia will be like in the years to come. Will it choose the foreign policy course of the European Union and the European future for our country, or will it continue to delude itself that it can sit on “two chairs” at the same time, not realizing that circumstances have changed and that Russia is no longer what it used to be in international relations? If Serbia does not realize that the Russian foreign policy “chair” does not exist anymore, it can easily lose the European one as well. That would mean isolation and transformation into Balkan Belarus which will be a constant source of destabilization in the region, accompanied by a very low standard of living. The citizens of Serbia do not deserve such a future. Serbia deserves to continue to develop into a democratic, economically strong and modern European state.
The citizens of Serbia expect certainty from the Government, which, regardless of the number of deputies in the Assembly who support it, should make a historic decision to impose sanctions on Russia, harmonize its foreign and security policy with the European Union and continue the accelerated path to full membership in the European Union. Such a decision should be supported by the part of the opposition that calls themselves pro-European, because for Serbia it means the continuation of reforms and further strengthening of the rule of law and independent institutions. It is not a collaboration of the pro-European opposition with the regime, it is a responsible, joint decision on the foreign policy of Serbia, but also the value orientation that the citizens expect.