Serbia's attachment to Russia "stance of her people"
Tomislav Nikolic today received Russia's ambassador to Serbia and said he was pleased that the two countries preserved their relations "despite temptations."Source: Tanjug
Ambassador Aleksandr Chepurin presented to the Serbian president New Year and Christmas greetings from his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
Nikolic's cabinet said in a statement that Putin's message "expressed his hope that constructive and substantive contacts" between the two presidents would continue.
"In the outgoing year relations between Russia and Serbia developed in the spirit of strategic partnership. New joint projects of mutual benefit have been launched in various areas," Putin said.
The Russian leader noted he "highly valued" Nikolic's participation in Victory Day celebrations in Moscow in May, and that of Serbian soldiers in the military parade held in Red Square.
"That was a convincing confirmation of the united approach of our countries to the lessons and the heritage of the past. I hope for our continued constructive and substantive contacts," the message said, wishing also good health and success to Nikolic and his loved ones - "and peace and prosperity to the brotherly people of Serbia."
Nikolic told Chepurin during their meeting on Tuesday that Serbia "remains devoted to Russia".
"That is the stance of the people, while we politicians exist for the sake of the people, not the other way around," the president noted.
He also stressed that the two countries' economic cooperation "must improve significantly," adding that Russia wishes to invest in manufacturing in Serbia and "place joint products to its market."
Commenting on the current international political situation, Nikolic said he expected the EU to return to cooperation with Russia, since that is in their common interest.
"Russia has chosen to fight against the greatest evil in the world - terrorism, and to establish peace. It could have invested in its citizens' better life instead and dealt with itself. These are great temptations, that only the great Russia can withstand," Nikolic said.
Chepurin stated that 2015 was a difficult year with many temptations.
"We are entering the coming year filled with optimism," said the diplomat, adding that the Russian side will continue to strengthen the ties with Serbia, especially economically.