Serbia: Dačić and Lavrov discuss strengthening and deepening of their relations

Serbia: Dačić and Lavrov discuss strengthening and deepening of their relations

First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dačić stated today that Serbia is firmly committed to the further development of political relations with the Russian Federation on the basis of a strategic partnership.

In a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov following their meeting, Dačić noted that both countries were ready to further deepen co-operation in all areas.

He stressed that Serbia is grateful to the Russian Federation for its consistent support towards its territorial integrity and sovereignty, and for the country’s efforts to resolve the issue of Kosovo and Metohija peacefully through dialogue, without blackmail or choosing sides, especially when it comes to Western partners.

The first deputy prime minister announced that Lavrov also spoke today with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, to whom he presented some Russian assessments of what kind of behavior might be expected and proposals for further dialogue on the Kosmet issue.

Dačić said the European Union, as the guarantor of the Brussels Agreement, should be more involved in implementing the agreements, adding that continued unilateral action and non-implementation of the agreements undermine the Union’s credibility.

He also said it was a tactic with new issues, such as Pristina’s duties on Serbian goods, not to mention the Union of Serb Municipalities.

“Now, they are satisfied that the duties have been abolished and what was important was the Union of Municipalities of Serbia”, said the first deputy prime minister.

Asked about some Western countries’ dissatisfaction with Russian aid during the coronavirus pandemic, Dačić said it was none of their business and that the state would act in Serbia’s interest.

He recalled that the EU itself exhibited a problematic stance on the issue of solidarity within the Union at the beginning of the pandemic, especially against non-EU countries.

“Therefore, the EU banned the export of medical equipment and so we received humanitarian aid from China and Russia, for which we are grateful. There are no special political messages; we know who our friends are”, Dačić pointed out.

The first deputy prime minister stressed that Serbia has good political relations with the Russian Federation and China, but that economic relations are at a lower level and it is imperative that they improve.

Lavrov stressed that the Russian Federation had reaffirmed its readiness to continue to support Serbia on the Kosmet issue, reiterating that the key role in resolving this issue was played by UN Security Council Resolution 1,244, which remains relevant.

He said today’s meeting reaffirmed the two countries’ overlap on most issues, adding that both Moscow and Belgrade support the strengthening of democratic principles in international life and that an agreement has been reached to maintain close coordination in international forums.

He noted that the Russian Federation supports the progress of the Serbian leadership in building constructive and good neighborly relations with all Balkan countries, and welcomes Belgrade’s efforts to maintain peace and stability in this important part of the European continent.

At the end of the joint press conference, Dačić presented Lavrov with a guitar, while the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation presented a microphone to the First Deputy Prime Minister. /ibna