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Lavrov: Russia supports Serbia’s policy in Balkans

Russia is committed to United Nations Security Council resolution on Kosovo and the Dayton agreements on Bosnia and Herzegovina

BELGRADE, December 4 /TASS/. Russia supports the policy Serbia and its leaders pursue in the Balkans, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after meeting Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic on Friday.

"We support Serbia’s position and the personal stance of Prime Minister Vucic concerning the establishment of a normal life and reciprocal cooperation in the Balkans," the Russian foreign minister stressed.

"We and Serbia act in compliance with norms of international law and defend the principles of Kosovo settlement laid down in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244," Lavrov said. "As for Bosnia and Herzegovina, we are firmly committed to the Dayton agreements and will support no attempts to bypass the document with an aim to advance geopolitical concepts contradicting the Dayton principles," Lavrov said.

According to the diplomat, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is planning to visit Belgrade but the time of his visit is still being set.

"Our relations develop actively and progressively on the basis of dialogue based on mutual respect. The two countries confirmed their commitment to this course during the Serbian prime minister’s visit to Moscow late in October," Lavrov said.

"Such an intensive political dialogue and high-level contacts are extremely useful for building the whole structure of our cooperation," the Russian foreign minister stressed.

He added that Russia and Serbia had always been allies.

"I am not going to elaborate on our humanitarian ties based on spiritual closeness and solidarity," he said. "We have always been allies at times of trouble and in all wars, and we remain allies," Lavrov stressed.

Serbia’s OSCE chairmanship has been successful and distinguished by a balanced approach to all security aspects, Sergey Lavrov also said.

"I want to congratulate our Serbian friends on their successful OSCE chairmanship, which took place at a difficult time when OSCE plans of cooperation in the joint provision of security are being distorted by politicized approaches and attempts ideologize the tasks of joint interaction on all urgent issues, including fight against terrorism and provision of equal and indivisible security in the Euro-Atlantic space," the Russian foreign minister stressed.

"The Serbian chairmanship’s approach was balanced with attention equally focused on all security aspects - military-political, economic and humanitarian," the Russian foreign minister said.

Lavrov also thanked Serbian parliamentarians for their position of principle at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which is making attempts to discriminate the Russian delegation.