Serbia Defence Minister: NATO Not on AgendaBelgrade | 16 April 2010 | Bojana Barlovac
Serbian Defence Minister Dragan Sutanovac said that Serbian membership in NATO is not on the country's agenda at the moment and will not be in the coming years. In an interview with Serbian daily Vecernje Novosti, Sutanovac said that “no one is setting NATO as a condition for joining the EU, although, all the countries who recently became members of the European family were first members of the political-military alliance.”
Dragan Sutanovac (archive)
Serbia became a member of the Partnership for Peace Program, PfP, in December 2006, signing a cooperation agreement with NATO in which democratic, institutional and defence reforms were the key focus. PfP serves as a basis for bilateral cooperation between a state and NATO that is tailored to the political and military needs of the country.
Prior to becoming a formal member of the PfP, Serbia engaged in limited security and defence reform cooperation with NATO, while military officers and civilians were allowed to participate in PfP courses.
A day after NATO accepted Albania and Croatia as full members in the alliance in April last year, Serbia unveiled drafts of national security and defence strategies in which it maintained its military neutrality.
In January, a group of 200 academics, writers and journalists in Serbia asked the country's parliament to hold a referendum on whether Serbia should join NATO.
Sutanovac told the daily "there is time for a referendum."
When asked whether it would be better for Serbia to be neutral or to join a military alliance, the minister said that the question is whether Serbia should be in a group of most developed countries in the world or "remain an isolated island."
"Neutrality requires a higher budget, a number of troops, more weapons and modern military equipment. Switzerland, which is always being taken as an example of a neutral country, has a respectable amount of the most modern weapons, and there is still a mandatory military service," the daily quoted him as saying.
Kommentar: Serbien wuerde die Freundschaft der serioesen Laender der Erde verlieren, wenn man Mitglied im Terror- und Besatzer Buendnis NATO ist. siehe Afghanistan, und Kosovo, wo man nur seine eigene Inkompetenz zelebriert.