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Putin, Serbian president to meet on May 8

Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic on May 8

MOSCOW, May 8. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic on Tuesday, the Kremlin press service said in a statement, adding that the two leaders would discuss regional issues and the prospects for bilateral cooperation.

"Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting with President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic, who will make a working visit to Moscow to attend celebrations dedicated to the 73rd anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War," the statement reads. "The current state of Russian-Serbian cooperation and the prospects for its development, as well as the implementation of joint investment projects are planned to be discussed, and there will also be an exchange of views on pressing regional issues," the Kremlin press service added.

The Serbian president will be the first foreign leader with whom Putin will meet after being sworn in as Russian president on Monday. According to earlier reports, Vucic will travel to Moscow following his two-day visit to Turkey and talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Putin and Vucic hold meetings and telephone conversations on a regular basis. In March, the Serbian president congratulated Putin on his re-election. Several days later, they held another telephone call, discussing the expulsion of Russian diplomats from a number of European countries. The Serbian president stressed that Belgrade would not join the move.

The previous meeting between Putin and Vucic took place at the Kremlin in December 2017. Along with cooperation in trade, culture and other fields, the parties also discussed the situation in the Balkans. Following the talks, a number of documents were signed in the two presidents’ presence, including a joint declaration on cooperation in economic modernization and a memorandum on tourism cooperation.

In addition, Russia and Serbia also signed amendments to an inter-governmental agreement lifting a gas re-export ban from Serbia and an amendment to the 2013 contract concerning gas supplies to Serbia. Russia’s energy giant, Gazprom, said that in accordance with the document, it would boost natural gas deliveries to Serbia by 15% in 2018.