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Serbia looks to Russian market amid strains in Russia-Turkey relations, says premier

December 29, 2015, 0:57 UTC+3 BELGRADE

Aleksandar Vucic also noted a high level of cooperation with the Russian Railways

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BELGRADE, December 28. /TASS/. New economic prospects open for Serbia on the Russian market after Russia imposed sanctions against Turkey, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on Monday while visiting the Serbian desk of Sputnik, a major media brand with modern multimedia centers in dozens of countries.

The prime minister was quoted by Sputnik’s website as saying this first of all concerned construction industry and food processing.

"As for agriculture, we don’t have enough amounts, but some products could take a modest segment of the Russian market," the prime minister said, noting that Serbia should invest more in processing of foodstuffs and not just export apples or tomatoes to Russia.

He also noted a high level of cooperation with the Russian Railways, saying he expected a contract would be signed with the company next year on long-term work to renovate Serbian railroads.

He also mentioned an upcoming visit to Serbia by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. "We are expecting a visit of the Russian prime minister in April and this will be a big incentive, it will be of major importance for future partnership, future development of cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Serbia, and I think these are good signs, good signals for a further strengthening of our ties," the prime minister noted.

The incident with Russia's Su-24

Russian-Turkish relations soured after Russia’s Sukhoi Su-24 frontline bomber from the Russian air task force crashed in Syria on November 24, hit by an air-to-air missile fired from a Turkish F-16 fighter jet.

The Russian president said the downed Su-24 plane posed no threat to Turkey as it was carrying out an operation against the Islamic State terrorist organization outlawed in Russia, calling the attack "a stab in Russia’s back delivered by terrorists’ accomplices".

Meanwhile, Turkey’s General Staff claimed that the Russian combat plane had violated the Turkish air space.

"The attack by the Turkish Air Forde on the Russian SU-24 plane in Syria will have serious consequences for relations between Russia and Turkey," Putin said.

On November 30, the Russian government imposed an immediate ban on supplies of a range of food products from Turkey, suspended several governmental cooperation programs and limited employment of Turkish nationals within the Russian Federation.

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