Nuland: Macedonia, Bosnia to Toe US-EU Line or Face Decades in Isolation

The US government has told Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina to sign up with the European Union (EU) on its terms, or be isolated in Europe for 20 years, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland said.

Sputnik News, July 11

Washington – Nuland acknowledged that Bosnia-Herzegovina is seriously seeking association status with the EU and in June “activated its SAA [Stabilization and Association Agreement]” with the 28-nation Union.

“The United States joins the EU, the IMF [International Monetary Fund] and the World Bank in urging Bosnia-Herzegovina’s leaders to make crucial reform decisions now, or risk being left behind for another twenty years,” Nuland said in prepared remarks delivered in Dubrovnik, Croatia on Friday.

“Our message to Macedonia is equally tough,” Nuland said. “[T]he major political forces must stop squabbling and get on the path to democratic reform sketched out by EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn with US support, and then move on to settle the name issue with Greece.”

However, Nuland continued, “politicians continue to put ethnic and party interests ahead of the basic social, economic and political reform needed to advance.”

US Steps-Up Pressure on Serbia to Sign Accord With Kosovo in 2015 – Nuland

The US government is putting new pressure on Serbia to cede more sovereignty to Kosovo by signing the Belgrade-Pristina Accord this year, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland stated on Friday.

Sputnik News, July 11

Washington — The Stabilization and Association Agreement is an international treaty, which when signed, will give Serbia the status of an associated state to the EU.

Among the obligations that Serbia will have to accept under the SAA will be the establishment of a free trade area and the harmonization of state laws with EU law.

“We want 2015 to be the year that advances the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue so the EU [European Union] can open chapters for Serbia and sign the SAA [Stabilization and Association Agreement] for Kosovo.”

Nuland acknowledged that the Serbian government would have to make potentially unpopular concessions to meet EU terms on the SAA, which the United States supports.

“But that will take courageous decisions in both Pristina and Belgrade. Again, together with the EU, America says: seize this moment and we will help.”

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