“Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States and some European countries of stoking East-West tensions in the Balkans ahead of a visit to Serbia this week.

In an interview with Serbia’s Beta news agency on February 19, Lavrov said the ‘anti-Russia’ nations in the West are making Balkan states choose ‘either you are with the West or with Russia’ as a condition of joining the EU and NATO.

Lavrov told Serbian broadcaster N1 TV that forcing Balkan nations to pick sides is a “very wrong policy” and that Russia intends to maintain its interests and ties with Balkan countries like Serbia.

The EU recently set a goal of accepting Serbia and Montenegro into the the bloc by 2025 — a target date also embraced by Belgrade.” (RFE/RL)