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Serbia ready to supply "sanctioned" products to Russia — president

According to the president, Serbia is looking forward to growth of the trade turnover with Russia
Market in Belgrade, Serbia AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic
Market in Belgrade, Serbia
© AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic

ST. PETERSBURG, October 13. /TASS/. Serbia is looking forward to growth of the trade turnover with Russia and is ready to supply "sanctioned" products to Russia, President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic told TASS in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

The world is now based on the economy, the president said. "Certainly, Serbia does not measure friendship by the trade turnover volume but its low level with such a big friend as Russia is definitely unnatural," Nikoli· said. "So we should increase the volume of Russian investments to Serbia in this sphere and vice versa," he added.

"Serbia is ready to offer Russia products not manufactured in the country or substitute products under sanctions," Nikolic said.

"I see grounds for confirmation of friendship and brotherhood existing between our countries in the economic cooperation," the President of Serbia said.

The president went on to say that Western countries should stop to think if they are really democratic or obey commands from one leader.

"I believe that many countries, including those very certain about their own democracy, should stop to think if they really match their own ideas of themselves or always obey orders from one leader," he said. "Today many say only very bad things about Russia, about threats allegedly posed by your country, but they do not know what really happens in reality."

Nikolic said Serbia has passed a test, proving its ability to maintain a high level of bilateral relations with Russia.

"Had Belgrade followed in the footsteps of many Western countries to impose sanctions on Moscow, possibly, after many years you would recognize that you have felt their influence," Nikolic said. "But on the other hand, had we imposed sanctions, we would have ruined everything that we have achieved of years and centuries just for the sole reason somebody ordered us to do so," Nikolic said.

"Nobody will ever be able to issue any orders to my country," Nikolic said. "We have received proof of Russian friendship. Serbia, for its part, has provided proof it is your country’s true friend," he stated.

Recognition of Kosovo

The president went on to say that Serbia will not seek admission to the European Union at the cost of recognition of Kosovo’s independence and it has no intention of joining NATO, President Tomislav Nikolic said in an interview granted to TASS First Deputy Director-General Mikhail Gusman.

"Serbia will never become an EU member if in exchange it is asked to recognize the independence of Kosovo and Metohija," Nikolic said. "But they do not hear us and keep putting forward this precondition again and again. How can Kosovo’s independence be recognized at a time when thanks to history our parents and children know what they have done to us."

"Serbia will never be a member of NATO, because it is a military alliance. We do not need this," Nikolic said.

"We comply with their standards concerning the rights of minorities and migrants," he remarked. "But I am certain that through cooperation with Russia I will be able to achieve a better life for our people. I will not tolerate attempts at setting us against each other."