Serbia PM says country on EU path despite delay in talks

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic says Serbia remains on the EU path though the bloc further delayed formally opening membership talks with the Balkan country.

Vucic said Friday he is "disappointed" by this week's decision but that it will not affect Serbia's "strategic road and determination."

The troubled nation has sought to join the EU after years of isolation during the war era in the 1990s. Belgrade has become a candidate nation but is still waiting to formally open the negotiations.

Vucic says they could start in July or September.

There are fears the delay could play into hands of the pro-Russian groups advocating abolishing the EU membership bid in favor of closer ties with Russia.

Balkan integration into the EU is considered key for stability of the volatile region.