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Serbian Leader Says EU Setting 'Humiliating' Conditions For Membership

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic has complained that the European Union has set "humiliating" conditions for joining the bloc.

Serbia's president has accused the European Union of establishing "humiliating" conditions for the Balkan country's membership of the bloc.

Tomislav Nikolic told visiting Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar on October 24 that Serbia would move to adopt the EU's fundamental principles and values even though the 28-nation bloc was in "crisis."

Nikolic did not say which EU conditions he finds "humiliating," but he may have been referring to demands from some member states for Serbia to recognize the breakaway former province of Kosovo as an independent country.

Serbia, a traditional ally of Russia, wants to join the EU, but has steadfastly refused to recognize Kosovo's independence. Belgrade has also been under intense pressure from the Kremlin to reconsider its bid to join the EU.

Moreover, Moscow has backed Serbia in its dispute with the West over Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

Nikolic on a visit to Moscow earlier this month told the TASS news agency that Serbia would never agree to recognize Kosovo as a condition of joining the EU.

Based on reporting by AP and TASS