Tomislav Nikolic.jpg

European Union membership remains Serbia's foreign policy goal, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic confirmed on Friday.

Nikolic said that the struggle for peace and stability and for the preservation of the Serbian community and the Serbian national, cultural and historical heritage in Kosovo would remain his country's priority, adding that Serbia would not recognise the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo, the RTS national television channel reported.

Nikolic said that the process of Serbia's integration into the European Union would not be halted despite the recent decision by the United Kingdom to leave the bloc. "In our own interest, we are continuing to organise our country according to the highest European standards, and the EU should decide whether it wants us or not," he said at a military ceremony in Belgrade.

"If one of the conditions set before Serbia is to recognise the independence of the so-called state of Kosovo or to stop obstructing the admission of that quasi-creation into international institutions, that will mean that they do not want our country as a full member of the EU," the Serbian president said.

Nikolic, who is also commander in chief of the Serbian armed forces, said that "Serbia remains neutral militarily, using the best practices and experiences from the West and the East."

"Neutrality implies a balanced relationship and cooperation rather than inclusion in any military alliance," he added. 

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