- Posted December 3, 2013 by
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Serbia to start it's EU journey this December
The current riots and protest in Ukraine show only one thing - Russia's interest in Europe is rising. Russian position of biggest natural gas exporter in this part of the globe gave its politicians, and especially President Putin, many options in steering Ukraine away from joining EU.
On the other hand, Russia always held big influence on Balkan countries, especially former Yugoslavia. In the beggining of the 1990s, Yugoslavia fell apart, and two of its former member Republics, Slovenia and Croatia are now members of the EU. Serbia,on the other hand, always declared "that they are the same people as Rissian people". Or they just said it. Starting this december, Serbia is finally taking its first steps towards full EU memebership. Russia has plans on the Balkans, too. Russia and its biggest gas exporter, company "Gazprom", started building first pipelines of the future South Stream system in Serbia and also in Bulgaria, another EU member. Russia hopes that with this investment, which is as much strategy move as it is business move, it will gain big influence on the political elite of the region, especially Serbian Government. Currently, Russia has gas pipelines in Germany, too. But that doesen't make Germany any less the key player in the EU.
Back on the topic of Serbia - in the last 50 years, Serbia has seen many politicians, writers and intelectualls which all claimed that Russia and Serbia are "linked together forever". However, Russia has very little import from Serbia, and the things that Russia imports are mostly - apples and strawberries. Russian tycoons bought much of sea land and beaches in Serbias neighbor, Montenegro. In Serbia, well, not much, if any at all. So, the "century link story" between Serbia and Russia reminds much of the former communist era, in both of these countries.
Given that Serbia today is on the very bottom of Europe's scale of industry development and strenght of its currency, it seems that Serbia needs EU much more than EU needs Serbia. Also, Serbian people must not forget that, while Russian Bear has very big paws, that bear has also a very nasty temper.
The Stories Rise Team