Minister Schallenberg and his Serbian Counterpart Ivica Dacic Met in Vienna

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: March 23, 2023; 19:27 ♦ (Vindobona)

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg met with his Serbian counterpart in Vienna, where they discussed the relations between the countries and the normalization process between Serbia and Kosovo.

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (r) Met with his Serbian Counterpart Ivica Dacic (l) in Vienna. / Picture: © BMEIA Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres / Gruber / Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

On March 22, Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić was a guest of Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg in Vienna. This is his first trip after taking office. In addition to the European integration of the Western Balkan states and the recent positive signals in the normalization process between Serbia and Kosovo, the working meeting focused on the effects of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and bilateral cooperation.

In talks with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Schallenberg underlined that Austria's foreign policy commitment to the Western Balkans is also reflected in the close relations between the two countries. For example, Austria consistently supports Serbia and the region in their EU accession prospects. Foreign Minister Schallenberg, therefore, recalled the geostrategic necessity of maintaining and expanding stability in the Western Balkans - in this patio of the EU.

Minister Schallenberg described the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo as the eye of the needle for the entire Western Balkans on its way toward the EU. Therefore, he was pleased with positive signals from the region, where steps towards normalization of relations between the two states were taken in Ohrid on March 18 and 19.

Schallenberg also addressed the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and its damaging influence in the region. Russia, he said, continues to have the potential to destabilize societies in the Western Balkans in the long term as well. Foreign Minister Schallenberg, therefore, cited as an important step the fact that Serbia has joined the overwhelming majority of the international community in condemning Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine at the United Nations General Assembly.