Foreign Minister of Netherlands Stephanus Blok, left, speaks with EU Commissioner of European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn at the Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Helsinki, Finland, on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. (Jussi Nukari/Lehtikuva via AP)

EU urges Serbia not to sign trade pact with Russia-led bloc

August 30, 2019 - 2:49 am

HELSINKI (AP) — European Union foreign ministers are urging Serbia not to stray from its EU membership path as the Balkans country readies to sign a trade agreement with a Russian-led economic bloc.

Serbia is expected to sign the pact with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) — made up of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan — on Oct. 25.

To join the EU, candidate countries such as Serbia must align their policies with the bloc, notably on trade.

At talks with his EU counterparts Friday, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak described Serbia's actions as "confusing."

He says that "if you are serious about your European orientation then obviously you make political decisions that bring you closer to it. This is not one of them."