BELGRADE, May 15. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called on the European Union not to play down the problem of extremism in the Balkan region. "It’s essential that our European partners, above all, the European Union, which volunteered to play a special role in the Balkans, do not play down these problems, because otherwise we all may face new challenges in this long-suffering region," he told Serbian President Tomislav Nicolic.
"As you said, 20 years ago no one could imagine that the situation would be returning back to normal, but the accumulation of problems which are not addressed is fraught with explosion," he noted, adding that, given the deterioration of the situation in Macedonia, it was necessary to take all necessary steps to avoid escalation.
"We want to avoid this [escalation] and will actively support efforts to prevent a new redrawing of borders, the revival of extremist and terrorist manifestations in the Balkans. To achieve this, as you said, it is necessary to find a fair solution to all problems, be it Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia or other countries in the region," Lavrov said.
He pointed to the importance of strengthening Russian-Serbian relations. "Just like you, we attach great importance to strengthening our historical friendship relying on very rich traditions. We are aware of your personal contribution to perpetuating the symbols of our fraternity, our joint struggle. We very much appreciate such attention to strengthening the basic principles of our strategic partnership," Russia’s top diplomat said.
Earlier, Lavrov held a meeting with Serbia’s Prime Minister Alexander Vucic.