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Serb Radicals Delay EU Official's Report On Accession Progress

The head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Michael Davenport (left) with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade on September 9

Far-right Serbian lawmakers have prevented a top European Union official from presenting an annual report in parliament.

The EU official, Michael Davenport, was scheduled to present a report on Serbia's progress toward EU accession to the parliament’s European Integration Committee on November 10.

But members of the Radical Party, led by ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj, obstructed the session by lodging complaints to the committee's chairperson and forcing the event to be postponed.

The lawmakers objected to the report being presented only in the English language. They also said Davenport, a British citizen, neither had the "moral ground nor legitimacy to attend the committee session" because of the United Kingdom's Brexit referendum vote to leave the EU.

The EU delegation in Serbia said it "regrets that conditions were not in place" for Davenport to present the report, and that he "stands ready to return" to the assembly "when conditions for such discussions are in place."

The Radical Party supports closer ties with Russian and opposes Belgrade's bid for Serbia to join the EU.

Based on reporting by N1 and AFP