BELGRADE, Serbia – NATO is ready to improve its relations with Serbia, but Serbia’s accession into NATO is entirely a domestic decision, outgoing NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said on Saturday (April 4th).
The statement came as Albania and Croatia gained Alliance membership, which reignited debate about Serbia’s bid. Commenting on the issue, Serbian Defence Minister Dragan Sutanovac downplayed any concerns over Serbia being entirely surrounded by NATO members.
He said he believes Alliance membership will be beneficial, as it could accelerate EU-related reforms as well. He acknowledged, however, NATO was broadly involved in Kosovo and Serbia cannot easily forget the 1999 NATO bombing campaign.