MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. Moscow and Belgrade make preparations for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s possible visit to Serbia before the end of 2021, Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said at a news conference after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Friday.
"Not only did our meeting allow us to exchange views on the issues crucial for us, but also to discuss preparations for a possible visit of the Russian president to Serbia within 2021," the Serbian foreign minister said.
Serbia will not change its position and will not impose anti-Russian sanctions, despite the pressure from its Western partners, Selakovic said.
"When is comes to pressure, it is always in place. Being in this office, I can see that our relations with Russia are always on the agenda with Western partners. But our position is very clear and we will not change it," he said when asked by TASS whether Belgrade feels pressure from the US in the context of the new anti-Russian sanctions.
The Serbian top diplomat stressed that his country’s position would never be changed and Serbia would never impose sanctions on Russia. "Although we are committed to the path of European integration, our centuries-long brotherly relations with Russia stay unchanged," he stressed. "What you could see today is that we speak with each other openly and sincerely and we look at what we can do to help each other. I would cite our President Aleksandar Vucic who said more than once that Serbia is a brotherly and friendly country to Russia and will never impose sanctions [against it]."
US President Joe Biden on Thursday signed an executive order imposing anti-Russian sanctions. Thus, US companies cannot buy Russian debt securities issues by the Central Bank, the National Welfare Fund or the finance ministry after June 14, 2021. Sanctions were slapped on 16 legal entities and 16 individuals allegedly involved in meddling with the US elections. Eight individuals and legal entities were blacklisted for operation in Crimea. Apart from that, the United States is expelling ten Russian diplomats from the Russian embassy in Washington, with "representatives of Russian intelligence services" among them, as the US side claims.
On Friday, Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Russia would be guided by the principle of reciprocity in its relations with Washington.