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Russian, Serbian top diplomats speak against ‘either with us or against us’ choice

February 21, 2018, 6:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The article by Sergey Lavrov and Ivica Dacic was published by Russian and Serbian newspapers and is devoted to the 180th anniversary of diplomatic relations

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Ivica Dacic and Sergey Lavrov

Ivica Dacic and Sergey Lavrov

© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. Moscow and Belgrade oppose the "vicious practice" of imposing the choice of "you are either with us or against us" on states, the top diplomats of Russia and Serbia said in a joint article published on Wednesday.

The article by Sergey Lavrov and Ivica Dacic was published by Russian government daily Rossiskaya Gazeta and Serbia’s Politika newspaper and is devoted to the 180th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two states.

"Respect to each other’s choices and interests remains a distinguishing feature of our cooperation. Moscow and Belgrade are opponents of the vicious practice of ‘you are either with us or against us,’ which has already led to growing mistrust and instability on the European continent," the article reads.

"Our states carry out independent, pragmatic, balanced foreign policy based on own national interests. At the same time, we fully support basic principles of international affairs, enshrined in the UN Charter, such as equal sovereignty of states, non-interference into domestic matters, peaceful solution to conflicts. We consistently speak in favor of overcoming main modern challenges and threats on the solid basis of the international law," the two diplomats said.

Lavrov and Dacic noted that the political dialogue between the two nations "develops dynamically in the atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding both on the working level and on the level of state leaders."

"We note with satisfaction the positive dynamics of our trade and military-technical ties, successful implementation of joint projects in power generation, transport and culture," the article reads.

"A solid legal basis for Russian-Serbian relations has been created, and is being regularly expanded," Lavrov and Dacic said.

"Today we face large-scale tasks to further explore the truly unlimited potential for Russian-Serbian partnership. We are convinced that we have all conditions needed to solve these tasks, including the main one - the century-old traditions of friendship and trust," the two top diplomats added.

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