May 6, 2020 / 6:23 PM / 23 days ago

Balkans are on path to EU membership -statement

BRUSSELS, May 6 (Reuters) - The European Union’s 27 leaders on Wednesday gave their “unequivocal support” for the six Balkan countries to eventually become members of the bloc and offered more financial support to help the region deal with the coronavirus crisis aftermath.

After a summit by video with the leaders of Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and North Macedonia, EU chiefs promised a “robust economic and investment plan for the region” in their final declaration.

However, the leaders’ statement said all Balkan hopefuls must follow EU foreign policy objectives, a veiled reference to concerns about countries aligning themselves too closely to Russia and China, which the EU says does not offer the same path towards becoming prosperous democracies. (Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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