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The European Union will support Serbia's speedier accession to the EU and help the Balkan country, dependent on Russian gas and oil, to diversify its energy supplier, said head of the European Council Charles Michel, Reuters reported.

"We need to speed up EU integration and we must create incentive for reforms," Michel said in Belgrade, his first stop on a tour of western Balkan countries, at a joint news conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Until the accession procedure is completed, the Western Balkan countries should cooperate with the EU within the framework of the new geopolitical community, a transitional political platform that Michel proposed to countries aspiring to join the EU.

The new platform will not replace EU membership, but will be a useful tool for the EU to discuss common problems with the Balkan countries, such as the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia.

Michel said the EU would help Serbia, which is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas and oil supplies, to diversify its gas supplies.

Vucic said at the same press conference that Michel urged Serbia, the only country in Europe that has not imposed sanctions against Russia, to join the EU sanctions.

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