Head of Security Council of Russia visits Belgrade

BELGRADE -- Prime Minister Ivica Dačić met on Wednesday in Belgrade with Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev.

Nikolai Patrushev (2nd R) (Tanjug)
Nikolai Patrushev (2nd R) (Tanjug)

The traditionally good and friendly relations between the two countries provide opportunities for strengthening cooperation and developing bilateral ties in all fields, the Serbian government quoted Dačić as saying during the meeting.

The prime minister "underlined that through dialogue about the problems in Kosovo and Metohija Serbia seeks to achieve a fair solution that will ensure the survival of Serbs in the province and a lasting stability in the region."

The meeting "focused on the promotion of economic cooperation with Russia, which is Serbia's strategic partner," Tanjug said, quoting the government release.

"Serbia is committed to the realization of the South Stream gas pipeline project and it is open for Russian investments in the energy sector, as well as in the fields of infrastructure, agriculture and telecommunications," it was stated at the meeting.

"Both Russia and EU"

Over the past twelve months, Serbia has shown that it is possible to simultaneously build the best possible relations with Russia and to seek to get the membership of the EU, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić said during a meeting he had with Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev in Belgrade on Wednesday.

According to a release from the Serbian president's office, Nikolić said that the recent signing of the Declaration on Strategic Partnership between Russia and Serbia is a major step forward in bilateral relations, as the opportunities for the promotion of cooperation have become virtually unlimited by this agreement.

The Serbian president also noted that the two countries' cooperation in the field of security is open and clear and he once again pointed to Serbia's position on military neutrality and its non-participation in any global military alliance.

Accordingly, Nikolić considers Serbia's observer status in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to be useful, since it had already had such a status at the Parliamentary Assembly of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Patrushev agreed about the importance of the Declaration on Strategic Partnership between Russia and Serbia, stressing that it is high time the relations between the two countries started improving as far as possible in all areas.

He also believes that Serbia's presence as an observer in the CSTO, and the participation of its representatives in various international conferences related to security issues, is useful.

Patrushev conveyed the greetings of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to Nikolić, and the Serbian president reiterated the invitation to Putin to visit Serbia in December this year, when the construction works on the section of the South Stream pipeline through Serbia are to be opened.