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Between the fronts. Serbia's economic course between Russia and the European Union.

Trapped between the western and eastern superpowers Serbia today is between the fronts. Interlinked by history, culture, and religion Russia became an important partner of the country surrounded by NATO and EU members or rather candidates. And while
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    UNIVERSITY OF BOLOGNA CAMPUS FORLI „Between  the fronts - Serbia’s course between Russia and the EU “   Paper prepared for the Seminar „  Economics of Transition in Central and SEE  “ (Teacher: Carolyn Ann Kadas) Master of Arts Interdisciplinary research and studies on Eastern Europe Academic Year 2014/15 Christopher Braemer (matriculation number 0000723797) Via Merenda 23 47121 Forli Christopher.braemer@studio.unibo.it    Table of Contents 1.   Introduction 2 2.   Cooperation with Russia 2 3.   Cooperation with the European Union 5 4.   Foreign direct investment 6 5.   Foreign trade 8 6.   Conclusion 10    Figures Figure 1: The “South Stream” project  3 Figure 2: EU pre-accession funds, 2000- 2012 (€ million)  5 Figure 3: FDI’s in Serbia 2000 - 2013 (€ million)  7 Figure 4: Exports: Serbia 2001-2013 (million US-Dollar) 9 Figure 5: Serbia’s Imports, 2001 -2013 (billion US-Dollar) 9 Charts Table 1: The most valuable direct investments by company 7 Table 2: Serbia’s top trading partners 2013  8 Table 3: Trade deficit in comparison (€ billion)  10    Index of abbreviations CARDS Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilization CIS Commonwealth of independent States CE Central Europe CSTO Collective Security Treaty Organization EU European Union FDI Foreign direct investments GDP Gross domestic product IPA Instrument of Pre-accession NALED National Alliance for Local Economic Development NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization SIEPA Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency SEE South Eastern Europe USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republic  1 1.   Introduction When the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited Serbia as in the mid of this October for the memory of the liberalization of Belgrade by the Red army during the second world war (Bilefsky, 2014) just a couple of weeks ago the atmosphere can be described as very warm, not to say familiar. During a visit to Russia Tomislav Nikolic really postet “The only thing I love more than Russia, is Serbia“  (The Economist, 2014). Are Serbia and Russia the perfect couple? Indeed the relationship to Russia has truly changed in contradiction to former Yugoslavian times, in which Tito broke up with Stalin  –   a unicum. Interlinked by history, culture, and religion Russia became an important partner of the country surrounded by NATO and EU members or rather candidates (Simic, 2014, p. 22 & Ladjevac, 2012). And while the negotiations over the Serbia EU-membership were opened in January 2014 (European Commission, 2014b), Gazprom and Lukoil took over the most important Serbia energy business NIS by a highly controversial deal (Pivovarenko, 2014). Is the growing importance of the Russian partner compatible to the European integration of the Western Balkan state? Trapped between the western and eastern superpowers Serbia today is between the fronts. What is the political and economic course of Serbia in this oppositional constellation? Will it further integrate to the west or to the east? Is it possible to play a neutral role or moreover to build up a bridge between Russia and the European Union? This paper is summarizing and reflecting the political and economical relations between Serbia, Russia and the European Union. The aim is to point out the character of the economic exchange and to give a prognosis about the course of Serbia between the fronts. Firstly this paper opposes the Serbian cooperation with Russia to the cooperation with the EU. In the second step a comparison of foreign direct investments and foreign trade should lead to clear economic aspects of the contra dictionary parties.
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