Foreign relations of Serbia

Foreign relations of Serbia

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Foreign relations of Serbia are accomplished by efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Serbia has inherited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with all of its holdings, after the dissolution of the previous state union with Montenegro. Serbian foreign ministries continue to serve citizens of the Republic of Montenegro in countries that do not have Montenegrin diplomatic presence. The governments of Serbia and Montenegro expressed an interest in pursuing a common foreign policy. President of Serbia Boris Tadić referred to European Union (EU), Russia, United States and China as four pillars of foreign policy.[1] Serbia joined the United Nations on November 1, 2000.



Former union states and provinces

 Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina has an embassy in Belgrade. Serbia has an embassy in Sarajevo and a consulate-general in Banja Luka. Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA). Also both countries are recognized as potential candidate countries by the EU.


Both countries established diplomatic relations on September 9, 1996. Croatia has an embassy in Belgrade and a general consulate in Subotica. Serbia has an embassy in Zagreb and two general consulates (in Rijeka and Vukovar). There are around 200,000 people of Serbian descent living in Croatia and around 70,000 Croats living in Serbia.


On February 17, 2008, the former province of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, forming the Republic of Kosovo in the process. Serbia, Russia, China, Spain, India, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, Algeria, Belarus, Palestine, Bolivia, Greece, Ukraine, Romania, Pakistan, Indonesia and many others do not recognize Kosovo as an independent state. Serbia has vowed to fight Kosovo's admission to international organizations. The Republic of Kosovo does not have and has not applied for United Nations membership as of yet. As of 11 October 2011, 85 United Nations member states and Taiwan recognize Kosovo as an independent state. But still, with the strong and firm opposition of both Russia and China and their allies, Kosovo has no current prospects of ever becoming a member of the United Nations at all.[2]

Serbia, in response to nations which have recognized Kosovo as an independent nation, has consistently recalled its ambassadors to these nations in an act of protest.[3] These countries who have recognized include the United States, Albania, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Turkey, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.

States which recognize the Province of Kosovo-Metohija as an integral part of the Republic of Serbia and states which recognize Kosovo as an independent nation
  States which recognize the Province of Kosovo as an integral part of Serbia
  States which recognize Kosovo as an independent country


Montenegro has an embassy in Belgrade. Serbia has an embassy in Podgorica and a Consulate-General in Herceg Novi.


The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that was formed in 1992 by the remaining Yugoslav republics Montenegro and Serbia established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Macedonia on 8 April 1996.[4] The establishment of bilateral relations has been done under Macedonia's constitutional name - Republic of Macedonia.[5] Serbia therefore is one of 125 countries in the world recognizing Macedonia under the constitutional name.[6] Macedonia has an embassy in Belgrade, while Serbia's embassy is located in Skopje.


See Serbia–Slovenia relations

Nearest neighbours

Multilateral regional co-operation falls within the priorities of foreign policy and international relations of Serbia as an instrument and substance of its co-operation with neighbours in the region and within the context of the Serbia inclusion in European integrations, Euro-Atlantic structures and EU.

In the context of Serbia inclusion in multilateral economic and political relations and integrations as well as in the context of globalization, the relations and co-operation of regional character are of importance in the field of liberalization of trade and further affirmation of market economy and free trade. In that respect, the efforts to turn the region of South Eastern Europe into a free trade zone in which Serbia is actively participating through bilateral negotiations with neighbours and in the region (free trade agreements with Macedonia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as negotiations with Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Albania), are of particular importance. Serbia enjoys relatively good relations with its neighbouring countries. The border with Bosnia and Herzegovina along the Drina River continues to be an issue, whilst the issue of independence for Kosovo is of particular concern to Serbia.

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Albania See Albanian–Serbian relations
  • Albania has an embassy in Belgrade.[13]
  • Serbia has an embassy in Tirana.[14]
 Bulgaria See Bulgaria–Serbia relations
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Belgrade.
  • Serbia has an embassy in Sofia.
 Czech Republic See Foreign relations of the Czech Republic
 Moldova 1995 See Moldova–Serbia relations
 Romania See Romania–Serbia relations
  • Romania has an embassy in Belgrade, a general consulate in Vršac.
  • Serbia has an embassy in Bucharest, a general consulate in Timişoara.
 Russia See Russia–Serbia relations
 Slovakia 1993 See Serbia–Slovakia relations
 Ukraine 1994-04-15 See Serbia–Ukraine relations
  • Serbia recognized Ukraine in December 1991 by the decision on the recognition of the former republics of the Soviet Union.
  • Ukraine has an embassy in Belgrade.
  • Serbia has an embassy in Kiev.

Rest of Europe

Serbia has signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union on 29 April 2008 and is to seek the status of a candidate country to join the EU once the national parliament has ratified the SAA.

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia 1992
  • Armenia is represented in Serbia through its embassy in Athens (Greece).
  • Serbia is also represented in Armenia through its embassy in Athens.[17]
 Belgium See Foreign relations of Belgium
 Cyprus See Foreign relations of Cyprus
 Denmark See Denmark-Serbia relations
 Estonia See Foreign relations of Estonia
 Finland See Foreign relations of Finland
 France See Foreign relations of France
 Georgia See Foreign relations of Georgia
 Germany See Foreign relations of Germany
 Greece See Greek–Serbian relations

Friendly relations have played an important role in bilateral relations between the two nations, especially during the wars of the 1990s and the Balkans Campaign[18] in World War I. Greece is the top investor in Serbian economy[19] and during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Greece openly expressed its disapproval and polls revealed that 94% of the Greek population were completely opposed to the bombing.[20] Council of State, Greek Supreme Court, found NATO guilty for war crimes.[21]

 Holy See See Foreign relations of the Holy See
 Hungary See Hungary–Serbia relations
 Italy See Foreign relations of Italy
 Lithuania 2000-12-14 See Foreign relations of Lithuania
 Malta See Foreign relations of Malta
 Netherlands See Netherlands–Serbia relations
 Norway See Norway–Serbia relations
 Poland See Poland–Serbia relations
 Portugal See Portugal–Serbia relations
 San Marino 2002-02-14 See San Marino – Serbia relations
 Spain See Serbia–Spain relations
 Sweden See Serbia–Sweden relations
 Switzerland See Serbia–Switzerland relations
 Turkey See Serbian–Turkish relations
 United Kingdom See Serbia – United Kingdom relations

Middle East

Serbia enjoys good relations with the Middle East, these are inherited by the independent Serbia from its time as hub of a federation (i.e., Yugoslavia) which were very strong from times of the Non-Aligned Movement during the 1960s. Israel, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Egypt are important economic partners with Serbia, as Israel invests in the Serbian construction industry and Egypt is a large market for Zastava automobiles. Serbia also has an important security agreement with Iran,[41] who is also an important economical and political partner for Serbia. Serbia also maintains diplomatic relations with the Palestinian National Authority. Serbia also wishes to intensify relations with the CCASG countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.

Country Formal Relations Began Notes

See Foreign relations of Iran

 Iraq See Foreign relations of Iraq
 Israel 1991[citation needed]

See Israel–Serbia relations


Relations between Serbia and Palestine have been very close and friendly. The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was one of the first countries that had recognized Palestine in November 1988 and its successor Serbia kept the close relations with Palestine and favored a Two-State solution. Palestine for its part, has refused to recognize the independence of Kosovo.[44][45]

 Saudi Arabia 2004


Serbia has excellent relations with countries such as the People's Republic of China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. These four countries are important economical partners for Serbia in Asia.

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 India See Foreign relations of India

Indonesia has very close relations with Serbia, especially within the fields of trade, culture and tourism. Indonesia has also voiced support for Serbia's territorial integrity over the Kosovo issue.[48]

 Japan 1997-05-20 See Japan–Serbia relations

Entry to Malaysia was refused to all Serbian passport holders until 2007, unless they were in possession of a letter of approval from Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs.[53] Citizens of Serbia and Montenegro were banned from participating in Malaysia My Second Home program.[54] However, in August 2008, senior officials of Serbia and Malaysia held their first diplomatic meeting since 1991. Afterwards, Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić said that establishing an embassy in Malaysia was a possibility, bilateral agreements between the two nations would be signed, and Malaysia has removed all visa restrictions for Serbian citizens. This meant that now only the citizens of Israel were banned from participating in Malaysia My Second Home program.[55] Two months later in October 2008, Malaysia recognized Kosovo as an independent state.[56] Malaysia's decision has harmed relations between the two countries and it no longer appears likely that any bilateral agreements will be signed.

 South Korea See South Korea-Serbia relations

South Korea has an embassy in Belgrade

 Pakistan See Pakistan–Serbia relations

Pakistan considers Serbia to be a very important country and that the relations between the two states are warm and friendly.[57]

 People's Republic of China See People's Republic of China – Serbia relations

China has always traditionally had very warm and close relations with Belgrade since the establishing of diplomatic relations in 1955.[58]


North Africa

Many of the North African countries (Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco) enjoy good relations with Serbia and are important trading partners. Tunisia is a hugely popular tourist destination for Serbs as there is no visa required for Serb nationals entering the country.

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Libya See Libya–Serbia relations
  • Serbia has an embassy in Tunis.
  • Tunisia has an embassy in Belgrade.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Ever since the times of Josip Broz Tito and the Non-Aligned Movement, Serbia has enjoyed excellent relations with African nations. South Africa is Serbia's closest ally in Africa and the two nations have had excellent relations since the signing of diplomatic relations in 1992 following the end of the Apartheid system. South Africa is also home to around 20 000 Serbs mainly living in the Johannesburg area.[62] South Africa is also voicing support for Serbia over the Kosovo issue.[63] Nelson Mandela has also been made an honorary citizen of Belgrade.[64] Serbia is also actively involved in many investments in Angola with whom it has excellent political and economic relations.

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 South Africa 1992-04-02


Serbia has very good relations with Latin America, except Colombia, which did recognize Kosovo's independence. Brazil, the largest country in the region, decided not to recognize Kosovo's independence until an agreement with Serbia is reached.[66] See also Brazil-Serbia relations

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Argentina See Argentina–Serbia relations
  • Diplomatic relations between Serbia and Argentina existed before the Second World War and were restored in 1946.
  • Serbia has an embassy in Buenos Aires
  • Argentina has an embassy in Belgrade.[67]
 Canada See Foreign relations of Canada
 Mexico May 24, 1946 See Mexico–Serbia relations
 United States See Serbia – United States relations

Prior to World War I and creation of Yugoslavia, Serbia and the US enjoyed excellent relations. Bilateral relations between Serbia and the United States were established in 1882. At the outset of hostilities between NATO and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999, the United States and Yugoslavia severed diplomatic relations. After the overthrow of the Milosevic government in October 2000, the following month the United States reestablished a diplomatic presence. The U.S. Embassy formally reopened in May 2001. The Serbian Embassy in Washington and the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade have reestablished bilateral relations and provide a full range of consular services. In February 2008 Serbia recalled its ambassador from the United States, following the U.S. recognition of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo. The US established full diplomatic relations at Ambassador level with the Republic of Kosovo, which broke away from Serbia in February 2008.[71]

 Venezuela See also Foreign relations of Venezuela
  • Serbia is represented in Venezuela through its embassy in Brasília (Brazil).
  • Venezuela is represented in Serbia through its embassy in Sofia (Bulgaria).
  • In 2007, Serbia exported goods worth €33,000 to Venezuela, while Venezuelan exports totaled €158,000.
  • After the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced that Venezuela does not recognise Kosovo's independence on the grounds that it has been achieved through U.S. pressure and criticised a recent political movement calling out for a more autonomous Zulia state. He said "This cannot be accepted. It's a very dangerous precedent for the entire world.".[72] On 24 March 2008, Chavez accused Washington of trying to "weaken Russia" by supporting independence for Kosovo. He called Kosovo's new leader, Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi, a "terrorist" put in power by the U.S. and noted that the former rebel leader's nom de guerre was "The Snake".[73] Chavez had strongly opposed the NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999 when he first became president.
  • Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Venezuela


Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Australia See Australia–Serbia relations
 New Zealand
  • New Zealand is represented in Serbia through its embassy in The Hague (Netherlands).
  • Serbia is represented in New Zealand through its embassy in Canberra (Australia).
  • New Zealand and Serbia have four bilateral treaties in force including the most favoured nation treaty from 1960. Trade between the two countries was based on a very modest exchange totaling US$ 2.3 million in 2006 but it rose significantly in 2007 to EUR 805 million.[75]
  • In the 2006 census, over 1,000 New Zealand residents claimed to be of Serbian ethnicity.[76]

See also


  1. ^ Tadić on Serbia's "four pillars of diplomacy"
  2. ^ "Rift Emerges at the United Nations Over Kosovo". New York Sun. 19 February 2008. 
  4. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Republic of Macedonia
  5. ^ Republic of Serbia - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  6. ^ Government of the Republic of Macedonia "FM Milososki: Name row a result of Greece's desire to protect its myth of pure nation". Government of the Republic of Macedonia. "the fact that 125 countries in the world have recognised Macedonia's constitutional name is a clear signal that the country has international support" 
  7. ^ Serbian embassy in Ljubljana (in Serbian and Slovenian only)
  8. ^ Slovenian embassy in Belgrade
  9. ^ Austrian embassy in Belgrade (in German and Serbian only)
  10. ^ Serbian embassy in Vienna (in German and Serbian only)
  11. ^ Serbian general consulate in Salzburg (in German and Serbian only)
  12. ^ 20 Minuten Online: Serben-Demo eskaliert in Wien
  13. ^ "Vandals damage Albanian embassy in Belgrade". BBC. March 29, 1999. 
  14. ^ "Serbian charge d'affaires prepares to quit Albania". BBC. February 20, 2008.,11EF5AD927A421E0.html. 
  15. ^ Serbian embassy in Bratislava (in Serbian and Slovakian only)
  16. ^ Slovak embassy in Belgrade
  17. ^ Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Armenia
  18. ^ Serbia and the Salonika expedition, 1915–17
  19. ^ Grci spremni da ulože 3 mlrd. evra
  20. ^ NATO and Greece, Clinton's visit
  21. ^ Greek Judges Convict NATO of War Crimes
  22. ^ Hungarian embassy in Belgrade
  23. ^ Hungarian general consulate in Subotica(in Hungarian and Serbian only)
  24. ^ Serbian embassy in Budapest (in Hungarian and Serbian only)
  25. ^ Lithuanian embassy in Budapest (also accredited to Serbia)
  26. ^ Direction of the Maltese representation in Serbia
  27. ^ Dutch embassy in Belgrade
  28. ^ Serbian embassy in The Hague
  29. ^ Embassy of Norway in Belgrade
  30. ^ Embassy of Serbia in Oslo
  31. ^
  32. ^ Serbian embassy in Madrid (in Serbian and Spanish only)
  33. ^ Spanish embassy in Belgrade (in Serbian and Spanish only)
  34. ^ Embassy of Sweden in Belgrade
  35. ^ Swiss embassy in Belgrade
  36. ^ Serbian embassy in Bern
  37. ^ Serbian general consulate in Zurich (in German only)
  38. ^ "Erstmals über eine Million EU- und EFTA Angehörige in der Schweiz". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 14. Oktober 2008. 
  39. ^ British embassy in Belgrade
  40. ^ Serbian embassy in London
  41. ^ Iran Daily
  42. ^ Israeli embassy in Belgrade
  43. ^ Serbian embassy in Tel Aviv
  44. ^ Tadić, Abbas discuss Kosovo, Middle East, B92, 2009-07-07
  45. ^ PM meets with Palestinian leader, B92, 2009-08-07
  46. ^ Serbian Foreign Ministry on Saudi Arabia
  47. ^ Embassy of Serbia in Syria
  48. ^ English People's Daily (China)
  49. ^ Embassy of Japan in Belgrade, Serbia
  50. ^ Embassy of Serbia in Tokyo, Japan
  51. ^ Japan-Serbia relations
  52. ^ Japan-Serbia relations
  53. ^ "Star Alliance Visa Information", Star Alliance. Retrieved 26 Aug 2007.
  54. ^ ""Malaysia My Second Home". Immigration Department of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 26 August 2007. Retrieved 28 August 2007. 
  55. ^ "Malaysia freezes recognition procedure". B92. 2008-08-11. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  56. ^ "Nota ambasadoru Malezije" (in Serbian). B92. 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  57. ^ "Pakistan, Serbia to strengthen bilateral ties". Associated Press of Pakistan. 2009-07-15. 
  58. ^ Foreign Relations of the People's Republic of China
  59. ^ Serbian embassy in Cairo
  60. ^ Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Libya embassy in Belgrade
  61. ^ Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Serbian embassy in Tripoli
  62. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Serbia
  63. ^ Serbs Say South Africans sympathetic over Kosovo
  64. ^ Nelson Mandela named Belgrade's honorary citizen
  65. ^ Serbian embassy in Pretoria
  66. ^ Diario Catarinense
  67. ^ Political relations with Argentina, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia
  68. ^ "Mexican embassy in Belgrade". Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  69. ^ "Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the relation with Mexico". Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  70. ^ Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: directions of Serbian embassy in Lima
  71. ^ "US Embassy Pristina". Retrieved 2008-04-17. 
  72. ^ Venezuela's Chavez won't recognize independent Kosovo
  73. ^ Chavez: U.S. encouraging Tibet violence
  74. ^ Australian embassy in Belgrade
  75. ^ Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with New Zealand
  76. ^ Ethnic group (total responses) for the census usually resident population count, 2006 (Excel 97 format), Classification counts, 2006 Census, Statistics New Zealand.

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