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Serbian speaker promises Belgrade won’t introduce any anti-Russian sanctions

The president of Serbia’s National Assembly said the country had lived many years under sanctions and "knows how it feels"

MOSCOW, October 23. /TASS/. Serbia is not planning any economic or political sanctions against Russia, President of Serbia’s unicameral National Assembly Maja Gojkovic said on Tuesday.

"I want to reiterate Serbia’s position - Serbia will not impose any sanctions against Russia, whatsoever, economic or political," she told Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the Russian State Duma (lower house).

"Serbia has lived many years under sanctions and knows how it feels. The Serbian people have clearly said how they feel about the Russian Federation, and we just have to follow this course," Gojkovic stated.

The speaker said she is voicing "the common position of the Serbian people". She also thanked Russia for support on Kosovo and hoped that with Moscow’s help Belgrade would manage to prevent the unrecognized [republic of] Kosovo’s entry into Interpol at its upcoming session in November.

The speaker said there is ‘a group of friends of Russia’ in the parliament that already consists of 134 parliamentarians out of 250. "No other country has such a large group of friends, this is a convincing majority in our parliament," she added.

She also focused on the activity of the Russian-Serbian parliamentary commission that "has grown into a major political instrument making substantial contribution to cooperation of the two countries".

"I am confident that our cooperation along this trajectory can become a fine example of parliamentary cooperation for other countries," the speaker stressed. She said that at a recent session in Geneva, the Russian delegation backed Serbia’s candidacy for the host country of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in 2019 and asked Russia for support in organizing this major event after "St. Petersburg’s hosting the IPU raised the level of this event to high standards".

Symbolic meeting

At a meeting with the senior Serbian lawmaker, Vyacheslav Volodin congratulated her on the 74th anniversary of Belgrade’s liberation from Nazi occupation celebrated on October 20. In her reply, she said that Tuesday’s meeting also came to mark an important date.

"Our meetings with Russia are always symbolic. Today is also a symbolic date for me, as 74 years ago on October 23, the Soviet troops liberated Novi Sad, my home city. And Novi Sad itself or Moscow is the best place to celebrate this date," Gojkovic stressed.

A third session of the Russian-Serbian parliamentary commission is currently underway in Moscow. Within its framework, the sides will discuss a number of relevant bilateral issues, economic cooperation, the digital economy, cultural support as well as joint efforts by the two parliaments in international organizations.