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“Balkan is priority, EU must stop negotiations with Turkey” (BETA, EKATHIMERINI, B92)

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The EU-Turkey accession negotiations should stop immediately, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has told Greek daily Kathimerini.

Previously, Kurz, whose country took over EU’s rotating presidency on July 6, said he was in favor of admitting Balkan countries, and improving relations with Russia.

Providing honest prospects and a credible path to the EU for the countries of the Western Balkans will serve the bloc’s political, economic and security interests, Kurz stressed, having described the region as one of the priorities of Austria and its EU presidency.

He also welcomed the deal between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on the latter’s name, the newspaper said.

Asked whether Austria would close its borders with neighboring countries to prevent the secondary movement of migrants, he said the country has made clear in the case of the border with Germany that it will not accept measures that would burden it.

Kurz also spoke in favor of gradually normalizing relations between the EU and Moscow, assessing that there can be no sustainable peace in Europe without Russia, and adding that a gradual lifting of EU sanctions imposed on Russia could happen once there has been progress in implementing the Minsk Agreements.

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