BELGRADE, October 17. /TASS/. Serbia continues relying on Russia and "will never impose sanctions against it despite pressure," Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said on Monday at a ceremony to unveil the Russian Geographical Society Development Centre in Belgrade.
"We don’t want others to choose friends for us... We will always seek to see that differences in international relations be solved through a dialogue, peacefully and with dignity," President Nikolic said.
"Russia is now the country without whose opinion no major international problem can be settled," he said.
"We understand that without cooperation with Russia we would not be able to realize in full our state interests, the main among them is safeguarding our sovereignty and territorial integrity," Nikolic added.
The Serbian leader said the main aim of the new center is to support and organize scientific and professional cooperation between geographers of Serbia and Russia. He said the opening of the center is a move translating into practice strategic partnership between the states and confirming their strong ties.
"This is a clear signal for us that Serbia has become a major foothold in geostrategic views of Russia, which has remained one of our main pillars throughout almost all our history," he said.
He said the Russian Geographical Society Development Center has already implemented several projects in Serbia and Russia, paying specific attention to the development of educational and social programs for students of the two countries.
The center aims at developing student exchanges, support for joint research, scientific and publishing activity.
Russia’s Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Chepurin said at the ceremony that the unveiling of the center comes "as logical continuation of fast-moving development of Serbia-Russia relations, to which President Nikolic makes a big contribution".