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Putin meeting with Serbian Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic

By   /   April 12, 2013  /   No Comments

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Vladimir Putin met with Serbian Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic.

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PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Mr Prime Minister, friends, good afternoon, it is a great pleasure to see you.

Russia and Serbia have always had particularly close ties, close relations in the spiritual and humanitarian spheres and in the economy too. I know that you have had substantive talks with the Russian Prime Minister. I note that our bilateral trade went down a little last year, unfortunately, but we have seen 38-percent growth since the start of this year, and this is a good sign.

Russia is one of the biggest investors in Serbia’s economy. We have many big and interesting joint projects. I am sure that your talks with the Russian Government will give our economic ties a boost.

I spoke recently with Serbia’s President, and I ask you to pass on my best wishes to him. All of this shows that our political contacts continue at all levels, including at the top level. Please repeat too, my invitation to the President to visit Russia at any time he finds convenient.

It is a pleasure to see you.

PRIME MINISTER AND INTERIOR MINISTER OF SERBIA IVICA DACIC: (Speaking Russian) Thank you very much, Mr President. It is a great pleasure to be here. I greet you on behalf of the Serbian people and the Republic of Serbia.

Thank you very much for the support you have given for Serbia’s principled policy on Kosovo and Metohija. Our people and country know and remember that Russia is Serbia’s greatest friend, and so I thank you on behalf of the entire Serbian people.

(Translated) I am very pleased to have this opportunity to visit Russia. I have visited Russia many times before, but not as Prime Minister. I am pleased to have the chance now to come in my capacity as Prime Minister. The last Serbian prime minister to visit Russia was Voislav Kostunica, and that was more than five years ago.

We have close ties with Russia in all areas: the economy, politics, culture, security, defence and more. You know that we are in a very difficult situation and face threats to our national interests. We have gone through war and bombing. This has created a very difficult economic situation. Our geostrategic situation is not good at all: all of our neighbours except for Bosnia have either already joined NATO or are preparing to do so.

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