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Serbia to remain Russia’s friend but for rational reasons — PM Vucic

October 27, 2015, 21:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Aleksandar Vucic is confident that Russia and Serbia would step up cooperation in many spheres
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Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic (left) and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev

Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic (left) and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev

© Alexander Astafyev/Russian Government Press Office/TASS

MOSCOW, October 27 /TASS/. Serbia will remain Russia’s friend but for rational and pragmatic reasons, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told journalists on Tuesday after talks with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

"Serbia will remain a friend of Russia for rational reasons," Vucic said.

According to him, Serbia is close to signing an agreement with Gazprom for expanding the area of a gas storage to 1 billion cubic metres. "We are close to signing an agreement with Gazprom on expanding the gas storage to 1 billion cubic metres," the Serbian prime minister said.

Vucic said he was confident that Russia and Serbia would step up cooperation in many spheres. He added that Serbia was ready to invite Russian companies to Serbia to build infrastructure facilities in the Serbian territory and expected the Russian side to do the same.

According to Vucic, the two prime ministers discussed measures to increase Serbian exports to Russia and prospects for organizing the repairs of some sorts of machinery and equipment in Serbia.

The Serbian prime minister also said that Serbia intended to pay all its outstanding debts to Russia, Gazprom in the first place, in advance.

"The improving situation in the Serbian budget and a desire to build relations with Russia on a transparent and responsible basis makes it clear that Serbia will pay its outstanding debts to Russia, Gazprom in particular," Vucic said in Russian.

Serbia proved its friendly attitude to Russia when it refused to impose the anti-Russian sanctions and pledges to continue this policy, Vucic told the Russian prime minister.

"We believe that we proved our sincere and friendly attitude to Russia when we became one of the European countries, which refused to impose sanctions on Russia despite numerous demands from the whole world. Serbia will continue pursuing this policy in future," Vucic stressed.

Vucic said that Serbia was genuinely grateful to Russia for its help and protection of Serbia’s vital interests at the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in which Serbia is fighting for the preservation of its churches, monasteries and historical monuments.

Serbia proved its friendly attitude to Russia when it refused to impose the anti-Russian sanctions and pledges to continue this policy, Serbian Prime Minister said.

"We believe that we proved our sincere and friendly attitude to Russia when we became one of the European countries, which refused to impose sanctions on Russia despite numerous demands from the whole world. Serbia will continue pursuing this policy in future," Vucic stressed.

The Serbian premier added that he had invited Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to pay an official visit to Serbia in 2016. "Welcome to Serbia," Vucic told Medvedev.

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