Nikolić, Putin sign strategic partnership declaration

Serbian and Russian Presidents Tomislav Nikolić and Vladimir Putin signed a declaration on strategic partnership in the Black Sea resort of Sochi Friday.

Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug
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Ahead of his meeting with Putin, the Serbian president said that a “new era” in cooperation was ahead of Russia and Serbia and that no goal was unachievable if the two countries worked together.

He added that he expected the agreement to have a positive effect, primarily on the economic cooperation between Russia and Serbia and that it would encourage Russian companies to invest in Serbia.

The Kremlin said ahead of the meeting that the agreement would define key principles that Russia and Serbia’s cooperation will be based on.

Putin's foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov said earlier on Friday that the document was carefully prepared.

The two presidents said that the relations between the two countries were constantly improving and announced talks on joint projects.

“I hope that we will have the opportunity to discuss bilateral relations and international issues today,” Putin said at the beginning of the meeting with Nikolić at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi.

“We are improving our contacts, we are working together on several interesting projects and I hope that we will be able to devote some time to all this today,” he added.

Nikolić thanked Putin for Russia's stance regarding Serbia, in particular for the principled position not to recognize the self-proclaimed independence of Kosovo.

“As you yourself say, our relations are getting better and better. The frequent contacts between the two of us and between our associates are contributing to this improvement. Serbia is quite pleased about its relationship with Russia. It could always be better, of course, but Serbia is grateful to the Russian Federation for being on the right side, on the side of international law, concerning our Kosovo problem,” the Serbian president noted.

He said that the meeting would touch on the projects that were underway and those that wee expected to be launched and that he would inform the Russian president about the latest developments in Belgrade's dialogue with Priština and the current situation regarding Kosovo.

“Serbia is actively preparing for the start of the works on the South Stream (gas pipeline) section through Serbia, and we would be very pleased if you could visit Serbia by the end of the year,” Nikolić told the Russian president.

The meeting of the two presidents, the third since Nikolić was elected president of Serbia, was attended by Serbia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkić and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Putin's foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov.

The delegation led by Nikolić also includes Natural Resources, Mining and Spatial Planning Minister Milan Bačević, Serbian Ambassador to Moscow Slavenko Terzić and presidential adviser Marko Đurić.

The Serbian Natural Resources, Mining and Spatial Planning Ministry released earlier today that the declaration on strategic partnership was a comprehensive document that focused on economic cooperation.

Bačević said that the agreement would significantly facilitate the two countries’ cooperation and increase the number of Russian investments and make the realization of signed inter-state agreements much easier.

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