aleksandar vučić.jpg
Photograph: POOL/ HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ /ds

Serbia is ready to complete accession negotiations with the European Union as quickly as possible, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said in a newspaper interview on Sunday.

"We are absolutely ready to open EU negotiation chapters, and everything that depends on us will be finished within the shortest time possible," Vucic told the Blic daily.

Vucic will be heading the Serbian delegation to an intergovernmental conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Monday for the opening of the first two chapters -- Chapter 32 on financial control and Chapter 35 on normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina.

Vucic said that Serbia was "absolutely ready" for Chapter 32 and expected to close it quickly. As for Chapter 35, he said that it was "very difficult" and would remain open until the end of the accession process.

"It won't be easy, but we are not afraid of work. There are no easy solutions, and our citizens will have to understand that," Vucic said.

Although he was confident that Serbia could do its part of the work by 2019, he would not speculate as to when Serbia could formally join the European Union.

EU Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said in Belgrade earlier this week that the opening of the first chapters would speed up the process of Serbia's EU integration, but that it was only the start of the race. He said he expected the chapters on the rule of law and human rights to opened by mid-2016.

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