Friday, March 16, 2012

FM Jeremić: Russia is Serbia’s closest ally

MOSCOW -- Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić is in Moscow this Friday, where he stated that the Russian Federation remained Serbia’s closest partner and ally.

Vuk Jeremić and Sergei Lavrov (Tanjug)
Vuk Jeremić and Sergei Lavrov (Tanjug)
At the beginning of his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Jeremić said that Serbia and Russia had the same views of the world issues.
He also added that he was very happy about the fact that a protocol on Russia's participation in the interior decoration of the St. Sava's Temple in Belgrade.

Lavrov announced ahead of the meeting that the talks would focus on bilateral and international relations and the situation in the region.

The two foreign ministers conferred at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Reception House in Spiridonovka St. and concluded that their stands on the Kosovo issue coincided as well.

"Kosovo is the greatest challenge in the Balkans and the issue can only be solved on the basis of international law and UN Security Council Resolution 1244. The views of Serbia and Russia coincide fully on this and other issues," Jeremić told a joint news conference.

Lavrov reaffirmed that Russia's position on Kosovo was unchanged and the problems should be solved through the dialogue of Belgrade and Prišitna, on the basis of mutually acceptable solutions.

The Russian foreign minister also pointed out that Russia would fully support Serbia's efforts to initiate an investigation into human organ trafficking in Kosovo under the auspices of the UN.

“I hope our Western partners who are not enthusiastic about the issue will change their mind, because the issue at hand are human rights that they care about. I hope there will be no double standards,” stressed Lavrov.

According to him, bilateral and economic relations between Serbia and Russia are on the rise.

Jeremić pointed out that Serbia's EU candidate status would not change the relations between Belgrade and Moscow.

“There will be no changes in the Serbia-Russia relations following the achievement of the candidacy. The EU integration process was and will remain one of the priorities of the Serbian government, and Russia was and is our friend. This friendship requires no candidacy,” the Serbian minister noted.

When asked about the stands of Belgrade and Moscow on the EU candidacy, Jeremić said that the spiritual unity of the two people was a basis for close relations between the two countries.

Lavrov also announced the realization of the Russian loan for the modernization of Serbian railways, the opening of a humanitarian center in Niš and more investments in the energy sector.

During his official visit to Moscow, the Serbian foreign minister will also meet with Russian Federation Federal Assembly Federation Council First Deputy Chairman Aleksandr Torshin and Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations Head Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk.

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