Duma speaker grateful for "position on Ukraine crisis"
Sergei Naryshkin thanked the Serbian public on its position regarding the crisis in Ukraine, which he said was identical to the Russian stance.Source: Beta, Tanjug
"In Kiev, radicals organized a coup and now threaten the people in the southeast of the country just because they know their history and want to speak their language," said the president of the Russian State Duma at the opening of the round table "History and Lessons of World Wars," organized in Belgrade on Monday.
Naryshkin also expressed his gratitude to Serbian Parliament Speaker Maja Gojković and a group of parliament officials and MPs with whom he met earlier in the day, saying they had a sincere conversation on various issues, especially on the causes of conflict and the current situation in Ukraine.
He stressed that the cooperation between Serbia and Russia is an important part of the history of the two countries, and that in 1914, Russia could not act in any other way except stand on the side of Serbia.
Speaking about NATO's 1999 war launched against Serbia, he said it "shook the Russian people," and described it as "a historic memory that will never be forgotten."
"The Serb and Russian people on several occasions fought together for freedom and justice, and our cooperation was never under a question mark, while now the most important thing is to save the world from new conflicts, relying on lessons from history," the Duma speaker said, according to Tanjug.
Naryshkin's two-day visit includes meetings with Serbian officials and participation in scientific gatherings related to the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1.
On Tuesday, the Russian official will open the forum Balkan Dialogue 2014, whose participants will discuss the lessons of the world wars in terms of international security, cooperation, mutual trust and dialogue as requirements for overcoming global crises.
Naryshkin will also lay wreaths at the Cemetery of Belgrade Liberators, at a memorial site dedicated to Russian and Serbian WW1 soldiers, at the grave of a Russian empire-era Duma chairman, Mikhail Rodzianko, and at a monument to the victims of the 1999 NATO bombing campaign against Serbia, the Russian embassy said.