"Putin's visit does not harm Serbia-U.S. relations"

BELGRADE -- U.S. Senator Christopher Murphy talked with MPs, members of the group of friendship with the United States, at the Serbian parliament on Wednesday.


During a one-hour meeting, Murphy said that he does not see why Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit would harm relations between the U.S. and Serbia.

Serbia already has a clear objective of EU membership, and I do not see any reason why Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit would damage our relations, the American senator said.

When asked about his country's expectations concerning Serbia's chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Murphy said that the organization will have a major role in resolving the Ukraine crisis.

U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Michael Kirby, who took part in the talks, underscored that Serbia is expected to make this chairmanship unique, and noted that this would be a chance for diplomatic solutions.

Speaking about the halt in the South Stream construction, Murphy said that this is a good chance for Serbia to think about other energy solutions, and added that the U.S. also accepted a new energy policy, so it does not have one, but several suppliers.

This is something you should consider. In the future, Serbia could think about gas imports from the U.S. too, the senator said.

Asked whether the U.S. is satisfied with the implementation of the Brussels agreement on the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Priština, Murphy noted that further implementation of the agreement also depends on the formation of a Kosovo government.

Speaking about economic cooperation, Murphy said that the U.S. considers investing in the steel production and placing American goods on the Serbian market.

He said that he will soon organize a conference dealing with opportunities for investing in the Balkans in the U.S. state of Connecticut which he represents in the Senate.