A group of members of the US Congress sent a letter to US President Joe Biden, urging him to consider imposing sanctions on those destabilising the Western Balkans and to “continue to engage the Serbian government about rooting out corruption.”
“We are deeply concerned about the current humanitarian and political situation in Serbia and the impact it may have on the Western Balkan region and Europe as a whole,” the letter says.
“As you said during an August 2016 visit to Belgrade, Serbia, “it is overwhelmingly in the self-interest of the United States of America for the people of Serbia to be able to grow and prosper.” Therefore, we encourage your administration to engage with President Aleksandar Vucic to combat corruption and attacks on freedom of the press, both of which are critical to a prosperous and democratic Serbia and to its European Union aspirations,” it said.
They called on Biden to “consider using Executive Order 14033, “Blocking Property and Suspending Entry Into the United States of Certain Persons Contributing to the Destabilizing Situation in the Western Balkans,” where appropriate to push for a more transparent and accountable Serbian government that respects democracies, human rights, and the rule of law.”
“During your 2016 visit to Belgrade, you spoke of a hopeful future for Serbia and the Serbian people. Unfortunately, to get to that more optimistic future, we believe further diplomatic action from the United States and from our European allies and partners in particular is crucial to ensuring Serbia can be effective in implementing democratic reforms. In doing so, they will be able to improve relations with all West Balkan states, including Kosovo,” the letter says.