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Moscow praises Belgrade’s military neutrality, says Lavrov

The Russian top diplomat comments on the relations with Serbia

BELGRADE, February 22. /TASS/. Russia welcomes Serbia’s policy aimed at remaining militarily neutral, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a speech at Belgrade University on Thursday.

"We highly appreciate and support Serbia’s policy aimed at military neutrality. We also expect that Belgrade’s European integration bid won’t be an obstacle to bolstering our cooperation with Serbia on a bilateral basis as well as in terms of the Eurasian Economic Union," Lavrov added.

"Russia has never seen the Balkans as a site for zero sum geopolitical games. Our unconditional priority is respect for the territorial integrity of the state, strengthening of regional security and stability, prevention of inter-ethnic and faith-related confrontations," the senior diplomat added.

He said Moscow is aimed at "advancing the positive agenda, which unites everybody instead of dividing". "We have a lot to offer to the region’s countries - from energy projects and economic initiatives to our experience in dealing with natural calamities," he said.