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In Serbia Radicals prevent EU diplomat's address

The Radical Party returned to parliament in April after failing to win seats in the previous two elections.

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Vojislave Seselj, head of the Radical Party, said British top EU official Michael Davenport didn't have the moral ground to attend a session of the Serbian parliament's European Integration Committee because the UK "ran away" from the EU play

Vojislave Seselj, head of the Radical Party, said British top EU official Michael Davenport didn't have the moral ground to attend a session of the Serbian parliament's European Integration Committee because the UK "ran away" from the EU

(AFP/File)

Far-right Serbian MPs prevented a top European Union official from presenting an annual report in parliament on Thursday, local media reported.

A statement from the EU delegation in Serbia said it "regrets that conditions were not in place" for Ambassador Michael Davenport to present the report on Serbia's progress to the European Integration Committee.

Davenport, head of the EU delegation, "stands ready to return" to the assembly "when conditions for such a discussions are in place," the statement said.

Members of the Radical Party, led by ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj, obstructed the session by lodging complaints to the committee's chairperson who was forced to call off the event, N1 television reported.

The Radicals, who support closer ties with Slavic big brother Russia and oppose accession to the EU, objected to the report being only in English.

Seselj also said that Davenport, as a British national, had neither "moral ground nor legitimacy to attend the committee session because his state 'ran away' from the EU," N1 reported.

It said Seselj and his allies also addressed the ambassador inappropriately.

The Radical Party returned to parliament in April after failing to win seats in the previous two elections.

This year's vote came a month after firebrand Seselj was acquitted by a Hague-based UN war crimes tribunal for his role in the 1990s Balkan wars, during which he was a close ally of late strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

Serbia and the EU opened the first stages in accession negotiations in December, but a significant proportion of the population remains sceptical of joining.

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