"Relations with Russia government's priority"

BELGRADE -- Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić underscored on Friday that "further improvement of friendly relations with Moscow is a priority of this government."

Aleksandar Vučić and Aleksandr Chepurin (Tanjug)
Aleksandar Vučić and Aleksandr Chepurin (Tanjug)

Vučić made the statements as he met with Russian Ambassador to Serbia Aleksandr Chepurin.

The Serbian official added that he "will not allow for the deterioration of those ties," the Serbian government's press office announced.

The meeting addressed the issues relating to the forthcoming visits of Russian officials, Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, "which will be an excellent opportunity to discuss further improvement in cooperation between Serbia and Russia," Vučić and Chepurin were quoted as saying.

During the talks, the officials resolved "the dilemma over the statements that some Serbian officials made about the cooperation with the Russian Federation."

Earlier this week, Leonid Reshetnikov, director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, spoke for the Belgrade-based weekly Vreme and accused Serbian Energy Minister Zorana Mihajlović of sabotaging the agreement reached between the two countries' presidents, Vladimir Putin and Tomislav Nikolić.

Mihajlović reacted by saying that the claims of her sabotaging the agreement were "not supported by arguments."

Vučić and Chepurin also talked about the elections in Kosovo and Metohija which were held last Sunday, and the recent meeting in Brussels in the framework of the EU-facilitated dialogue.

Ambassador Chepurin underlined once again the Russian Federation's support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Serbia.