BELGRADE, January 17. /TASS/. Serbia is content with military and technical cooperation with Russia, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said before the start of narrow format talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.
"Serbia is content with military and technical cooperation with Russia. Thank you for your contribution and the desire to help our country," Vucic said, noting that Serbia no longer experienced problems with the repayment of debts.
"Serbia is a reliable partner of the Russian Federation," the Serbian leader said.
The Russian leader has pointed to the active development of military-technical cooperation between Russia and Serbia.
"This is full-fledged mutual work with a two-way street," he said at the talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic describing military-technical cooperation between the two countries. "We do not only supply military equipment. We also purchase military property in Serbia, including combat equipment."
"We continue to cooperate in the military field and in the security area," he noted. "Our law enforcement agencies, prosecutors general work together, which is also very important."
Putin noted that he had discussed in detail bilateral economic cooperation with Vucic. The head of state noted that the two countries’ trade turnover had reached $2 bln in 2018. "Russia is probably one of the biggest investors, maybe even the biggest investor in the Serbian economy," he added. "Our relations are developing in many areas.".
Putin earlier pledged to continue developing military and technical cooperation with Serbia.
"Over many years, we have been helping to strengthen Serbia’s defense capability: we have been supplying armament and military hardware and rendering assistance in their repair and upgrade. We will continue developing military and technical cooperation," the head of the Russian state said in an interview with the Serbian publications Politika and Vecernje Novosti
The Russian leader stressed: "We highly rate the Serbian leadership’s firm commitment to the course towards preserving the country’s neutrality."
In an interview with TASS, Serbian President Vucic earlier said that Serbia was holding negotiations with Russia on the purchase of six Mi-17 multirole helicopters, and also air defense systems.
Following the results of Vucic’s visit to Moscow, Russia and Serbia reached an agreement on establishing a helicopter center near Belgrade for helicopters’ repairs.
In October, the Serbian Air Force received six MiG-29 fighter jets handed over by Russia as part of military and technical assistance.
In addition to MiG-29 planes, Serbia will also get 30 T-72 tanks and 30 BRDM-2 reconnaissance and patrol vehicles from Russia for free. Serbia is also holding talks with Russia on Buk-M1 and Buk-M2 air defense missile systems and Tunguska anti-aircraft missile/gun complexes.