Moscow to Belgrade: We know you're under huge pressure

Chairman of Russia’s State Duma Sergei Naryshkin says his country is aware of the "huge pressure" exerted on Serbia by Washington and Brussels.

Source: Tanjug, TASS
(Getty Images, file)
(Getty Images, file)

Moscow appreciates the fact that Serbia has not joined EU's sanctions imposed on Russia, Naryshkin also said on Thursday in Moscow, as he met with Serbian National Assembly President Maja Gojkovic, TASS has reported.

Serbia's decision not to join this policy is "in the interest of Serbia and its citizens," he added.

"We attach great importance to deepening multifaceted cooperation with our Serbian partners. We highly appreciate Belgrade’s principled stance on the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the European Union," Naryshkin said.

He noted that Moscow was "aware of the huge pressure exerted on Belgrade by Washington and Brussels over the issue," and added:

"It is important that Serbia’s political leadership and the people understand that such a stance on the European sanctions, that is, refusal to join these steps, fully conforms with the national interests of this country and its people."

At the same time, Naryshkin said that his country has always respected Serbia’s plans to join the EU.

"Russia has never urged your country to choose between Russia and the EU, the way the EU did with regard to Ukraine. The sad result of what is going on in Ukraine is the result of this position of the European Union. For us, of course, it is important that Serbia’s rapprochement with the European Union, its integration into the European Union does not disrupt and hinder the development of our bilateral relations," he said.

Maja Gojkovic is in Moscow today for a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC), where Serbia took over from Russia the six-month presidency over the organization.

The 48th plenary session of the PABSEC General Assembly will be held in Belgrade November 29-December 1.

The PABSEC members include parliamentarians from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

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