BELGRADE, February 13. /TASS/. Great trust and intensive bilateral cooperation have propelled Russia-Serbia relations to a level of genuine strategic partnership, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a congratulations message to his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic on the occasion of Serbia’s National Day.
"The high level of trust and the intensity of Russian-Serbian dialogue, including cooperation by the foreign ministries, indicate that relations between our countries have achieved a level of genuine strategic partnership. I am certain that the centuries-old traditions of friendship and mutual support will invariably contribute to the further deepening of bilateral relations and the implementation of the entire package of initiatives on the agenda. This fully meets the interests of the people of Russia and Serbia and enhances security in the Balkans," the press-service of Serbia’s Foreign Ministry quotes Lavrov’s message as saying.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic upon Serbia’s National Day.
Serbia celebrates the holiday on February 15 and 16. Both are days off. The Serbian Orthodox Church plays a significant role in this tradition. The public holiday coincides with the church holiday Candlemas. On February 15, 1805 future Prince George Petrovic Karageorge started the first Serbian uprising (1804-1813), which heralded the beginning of the Serbs’ struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire. The country’s first constitution was adopted on February 15, 1835.