BELGRADE -- Special adviser to the Serbia government Franco Frattini considers Serbia's role as a bridge between the EU and Moscow to be "very important."
This former Italian foreign minister and former EU commissioner believes that such a role can help ease tensions related to the Ukrainian crisis.
"The fact that Serbia is a good partner of Moscow's and a candidate for membership of the EU at the same time is an opportunity for it to act as a bridge and try to explain to Moscow what more needs to be done to reduce tensions and restore relations with the EU," Frattini said in a telephone statement for Tanjug from Rome.
He recalled that Serbia's foreign policy aimed at joining the EU, but it did not mean ending good relations with Russia.
Commenting on media reports in Belgrade that when Italy's foreign minister visits here she would "demand from the Serbian authorities to align their foreign policy more with that of the EU, above all when it comes to Russia and Ukraine," Frattini said he did not know what the minister would say, but noted:
"Italy has always been very clear that there is no alternative to negotiating with Serbia and maintaining good relations with Russia. The Italian government is working to help deescalate the present complicated crisis between Russia and the EU."