Belgrade’s EEU plans
The talks on creation of free trade zones with Serbia and Israel are ongoing.
It is still unclear what the EU’s reaction would be to Belgrade’s EEU plans, which in the current geopolitical context could be seen as further rapprochement with Russia, especially given the fact that Serbia refused to implement sanctions on Russia.
It would be the first case of a candidate country concluding a free trade agreement with the EEU, and experts are still debating the EU’s possible response. The agreement is unlikely to succeed if Belgrade faces considerable, explicit or implicit, constraints from the EU. Within the context of Brexit and other European crises, some might find it rational for Belgrade to pursue multiple vectors of economic integration, especially in the Eurasian/Asian direction.
However, at the moment, both Brussels and Belgrade remain committed to the negotiation. It is not yet clear whether Serbia will be able to convince the EU that this agreement with the EEU is not “anti-European”. It will be Belgrade’s responsibility to prove that that managing both integration processes is not a zero-sum game.