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Serbia seeks to preserve good relations with Russia — Russian ambassador

June 30, 2014, 14:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian Ambassador in Belgrade Alexander Chepurin says Belgrade does not see any contradictions between entering the EU and developing friendly relations with Russia
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Serbian flag seen in front of Russia's Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

Serbian flag seen in front of Russia's Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

© EPA/SERGEI CHIRIKOV

MOSCOW, June 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s high-ranking diplomat said Serbia’s accession to the European Union will have no impact on its friendly relations with Russia.

“Belgrade does not see any contradictions between its drive for entering the EU and developing friendly relations with Russia,” Russian Ambassador in Belgrade Alexander Chepurin told ITAR-TASS on Monday. “Serbs are categorically against the ‘either-or’ message. This is right,” he said.

“The term of Serbia’s ‘drift’ towards Brussels can be hardly considered correct.  Over the last 20 years, Serbia has named the accession to the EU as its foreign policy priority. Now Belgrade is holding talks and hopes to join the EU in 2020,” Chepurin said. “Simultaneously, Belgrade stresses its willingness to preserve and develop good relations with its historical friend - the brotherly country of Russia,” he said.

“Today the message ‘never against Russia’ is very popular among the Serbian public. Unlike its neighbors, Serbia said it would not impose any sanctions against Russia. Serbian President Tomislav Nicolic and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic confirmed it,” he said. “Serbia demonstrates itself as Russia’s real friend. And it refuses to come against its economic interests,” Chepurin said.

He praised Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s successful visit to Belgrade. “Serbs are optimistic about the upcoming talks between (Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic) and Russian leaders. Sincerity and centuries-long friendship help our contacts,” Chepurin said.

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