French President Emmanuel has reassured his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic that Serbia will be the first country to join the European Union.
On Sunday, Vucic announced he had a long phone conversation with Macron, who commended Serbia’s vote in favor of a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution.
The press statement stressed Macron’s “personal support to President Vucic” over his leadership of the country.
“[President Macron] unequivocally told President Vučić that, regardless of geopolitical changes in Europe and the world, Serbia remains a key priority and the first country to join the European Union.”
Serbia is the frontrunner among all six Western Balkan countries in the EU accession reforms.
Macron’s assurances follow Serbia’s refusal to join EU sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine invasion.
Serbia has repeatedly refused to align its foreign policy with that of the EU regarding sanctions, as expected throughout its EU integration process, since 2014 when Russia took over Crimea from Ukraine.
Despite being pressured into voting in favor of the UNGA resolution, Vucic and all Serbian leadership have never explicitly condemned the Russian aggression against Ukraine. In a press conference, Vucic downplayed the vote and stressed that Serbia remains the only country in Europe not to impose sanctions against Russia.
Last week, Belgrade became the first European city to hold a rally in support of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.