15.12.2020. - 18:55

Visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić met today with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov to discuss bilateral relations topics ranging from energy to military-technical cooperation, economy, joint construction of infrastructure facilities built by Russian companies in Serbia.

Photo: Presidency of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll

"We had a detailed discussion on all essential relations, bilateral relations between the Republic of Serbia and the Russian Federation, of exquisitely amiable nature. We confirmed the strategic commitment of both countries to continue to develop our relations in various spheres of social life on friendly and exceptional mutual respect," said President Vučić.
"Our cooperation is good in all areas. Russian railways are working on the construction of a dispatch centre, on the section Nova Pazova-Novi Sad; they are working on project documentation for projects up to the Montenegrin border. We worked on the Balkan Stream with a Russian company, and I believe before the end of the year, fascinating results will be seen," said President Vučić.
President Vučić stated that he conveyed to the head of Russian diplomacy his concerns regarding the situation in the region.
"I presented our views on the situation in the region and my personal concerns as the President of Serbia. I hope that together we will have enough reason and strength to solve all problems peacefully, through dialogue and talks. That will be a permanent commitment of Serbia," he emphasised and thanked Russia for supporting Serbia's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Photo: Presidency of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll

"It is somehow taken for granted, so we do not mention it in particular. We are grateful to Lavrov for his support in various international organisations and institutions that he provides to Serbia in preserving our vital interests. It seems that we are also behaving reciprocally", he emphasised.
President Vučić said that they also touched on a topic that he emphasises with particular pride, and that is that Serbia has made the decision to preserve its military neutrality, which he repeated before the Russian Foreign Minister.
"That commitment is not questionable. Serbia will not be part of military blocs, but wants to protect its freedom on its own, to take care of its sky, land and waters on its own," he underlined and thanked Russia, especially President Putin and Defence Minister Shoygu for helping to strengthen Serbia's defence capacities.
President Vučić particularly thanked Minister Lavrov for coming to Serbia during the pandemic, and for showing respect and sincere, friendly disposition towards our country at all times.

Photo: Presidency of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that he welcomed the balanced foreign policy of Serbia and its policy of military neutrality, which is of particular importance for the region.
"We welcomed once again the balanced policy of the Serbian leadership aimed at maintaining equal and mutually beneficial relations with everyone, which is the basis of Russian foreign policy. We welcomed Belgrade's commitment, reaffirmed once again by President Vučić, to the policy of preserving military neutrality by renouncement to join the anti-Russian sanctions, regardless of who introduces them", Lavrov emphasised and noted that Russia is committed to respecting the principles of Dayton that is - the equality of the three constituent peoples and the existence of two entities - Republic of Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"We also advocate respect for Resolution 1244 as the basis for seeking all possible agreements. We stressed the interest in the EU's role as a mediator to achieve practical results to be implemented impartially and to overcome open sabotage by Priština for all agreements that were reached, among which is the agreement on the establishment of the Association of Serbian Municipalities," said Minister Lavrov.
Lavrov emphasised that Russia's position remains unchanged - a compromise should be sought based on the Resolution 1244, and that he will only support a decision that suits the Serbs as well.
'Eternal flame' lit at the Memorial Cemetery of the Liberators of Belgrade

Photo: Presidency of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll

Earlier in the day, President Vučić and Minister Lavrov attended the lighting of the 'Eternal flame' and laid wreaths at the Memorial Cemetery of the Liberators of Belgrade. After that, they visited the Saint Sava Temple.
President Vučić said today that the 'Eternal flame' in Belgrade, ignited by the flames from the Tomb of the Unknown Hero from Moscow, should forever remind that the Serbian and Russian people, committed to the libertarian tradition, were on the same side in the Second World War, on the side of right, justice and freedom.
"Today, we stand where those who knew how much the word freedom could cost, and who quietly accepted the price of our freedom and paid it with their lives, without asking for anything in return," said President Vučić.
They even knew that remembrance is not obligatory, that it is possible to die for freedom and be forgotten, but that did not stop them nor did it hinder them from exchanging their lives for our lives and their future for ours, and their last breath for our breathing that freedom in, the President pointed out.

Photo: Presidency of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll

"The selflessness of their act and the greatness of the victim do not only require remembrance and mention at the commemoration of the anniversary. Our debt is much greater, it is as great as the freedom, and it weighs as much as every day weighs in that freedom," he said, adding that fire is burning today with flames from the Tomb of the Unknown Hero in Moscow, which reads: "Your name is unknown, and your deed is immortal.
"To forever remind that the Serbian and Russian people are committed to the tradition of freedom, in the Second World War, whose 75th anniversary we marked with dignity, that we were on the same side of right, justice and freedom," said President Vučić and added that today the task of fighting against the rewriting of history.
"That is why we are grateful to President Vladimir Putin for initiating the fight for the truth. There is no more important mission than preserving the hard-won freedom, peace and stability. We will fight for the truth to persevere," he said, adding that Russia can always count on Serbia as a resolute friend.

Photo: Presidency of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, said that no attempts to revise the liberation history of the Second World War will be accepted.
"Today's event is a confirmation of that, and I thank the people of Serbia once again on behalf of all Russians," said Minister Lavrov.
He expressed great gratitude to his Serbian friends, and above all to President Vučić for organising this event, and conveyed the greetings of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I want to convey to you the warmest greetings and best wishes from President Putin."
Minister Lavrov said that the ceremony of taking over the flames of the 'Eternal fire' from the monument near the Kremlin walls was held in Moscow yesterday and that today - that fire is in Belgrade.
"Thanks to the consistent position of the Serbian leadership on preserving the historical truth and preserving the memory of the deed of our ancestors, the eternal fire was lit in the very heart of the Serbian capital," Lavrov said, emphasising that it is one of Russia's most important shrines.
President Vučić and Minister Lavrov also visited the Saint Sava Temple in Vračar, where they laid flowers on the grave of the recently deceased Serbian party leader Irinej.

Photo: Presidency of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll

President Vučić thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for their help in building the Saint Sava Temple in Belgrade.
"For more than 100 years, there has been an idea to build the Temple of Saint Sava. We have struggled for decades, but with great support and help from our Russian friends, we have managed to build and do most of the work in the last decade," the President reminded.
President Vučić added that he was sure, knowing the late Patriarch Irinej, that he would be proud today to be with Lavrov in the Temple.
"He would look at the domes, admire them, as well as the mastery of Russian artists. It is our job today to say a big thank you to President Putin and say that it is magnificent, to say that we have the most beautiful temple in the world," the President iterated and asked the Russian Minister to express his gratitude to the President of Russia.

Photo: Presidency of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll


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