Serbia believes that the policy of sanctions against Belarus is erroneous, Ambassador Stojan Jevtic told reporters in Minsk on Wednesday.
Serbia’s alignment with the European Union’s sanctions against Belarus has not affected Serbian-Belarusian relations, the ambassador said.
In November 2012, eight European countries, including Serbia, aligned themselves with the EU’s decision to extend its sanctions against a number of Belarusian individuals and economic entities until October 31, 2013.
"We are small nations that have always helped each other," Mr. Jevtic said. "Serbia will never forget Belarus’ support during NATO’s bombing campaign [against Serbia in 1999]. But there was a period when Serbia had to express its attitude to certain events in the way the EU wanted it to. However, our position did not harm our relations with Belarus."
"We had to align ourselves with the sanctions because Serbia was in the process of acceding to EU agreements, but Serbia itself has never used sanctions against Belarus," Mr. Jevtic said.
Another Serbian diplomat, whose name and position were not announced, added that Serbia aligned itself with the sanctions "in word only."
Despite its sanctions against Belarus, the EU continues economic cooperation with the country, Mr. Jevtic noted.
"I have repeatedly said that economic sanctions and sanctions in general are a mistake," he said. "The president of Serbia also spoke to this effect during his [March 12-13] visit to Belarus."
"Serbia was under sanctions from the entire world for more than 10 years and we know how hard this is," Mr. Jevtic said. "But this method of influencing a nation cannot produce any result. Everything can be resolved through negotiations."