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Serbia pledges not to impose sanctions against Russia — Serbian PM

September 09, 2014, 8:45 UTC+3 BELGRADE
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic says that though Serbia has embarked on a European path, it is not going to ruin its relations with Russia
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Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic

© EPA/ANDREJ CUKIC

BELGRADE, September 09. /ITAR-TASS/. Serbia has not imposed and is not going to impose any sanctions against Russia, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said in an interview with Mikhail Gusman, the first deputy director general of the ITAR-TASS news agency, on Monday.

“Today, Serbia is a European country. It has embarked on the European path. But no one can order Serbia to ruin its relations with Russia. Serbia has demonstrated that it is a country that deserves respect,” the Serbian prime minister said.

During the interview which Vucic gave in his native Serbian, he found time to say a few words in Russian.

“As you know, I am learning Russian but I cannot speak fluently yet. The Serbian and Russian peoples are very close. We have many projects. We need to do a lot of things in the future. I would like to say that Serbia is a free and independent country. Serbia is on the European path but Serbia has not imposed and is not going to impose any sanctions against Russia,” the Serbian prime minister said in Russian.

“I am a person who is trying to run the Serbian government in a rational way and do everything to meet Serbian interests in general and at each particular moment. I am not concealing from our Russian partners that we are on the European path,” Vucic said, adding that he had never felt any pressure from the Russian leadership.

“I said the same thing everywhere, including in the West, because I do not have two different stories. I say the same things in Belgrade. During my visits to the West, I always tell them: yes, we are on the European path but we have not imposed and we are not going to impose sanctions against Russia,” the Serbian prime minister stressed.

He said that most Serbs were closely linked to the Russian people with historical, cultural, religious and other bonds. "The Serbs, just like other Slavic peoples, feel how hard the events in south-east Ukraine have affected the Russian and Ukrainian peoples and they feel sore about that,” Vucic stressed.

The Serbian prime minister said that during one of his visits to the Serb Republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina that is populated by ethnic Serbs, one man told him that Russians would never understand how the Serbs loved Russia.

“This is a tradition of our people. And though I am more focused on rational work rather than on tradition, which is not my task, I certainly cannot pretend that I do not know what this tradition and good historical ties mean,” the Serbian prime minister said.

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