"Historical calendar" changed to accommodate Putin
Russian newspapers are reporting about Vladimir Putin's visit here noting that Serbia, for his sake, moved the date of the liberation anniversary celebration.Source: Beta
"Putin took part in the parade, a grandiose one for Serbia, which was supposed to be held on October 20," " writes Kommersant, and adds:
"But, the Serbian authorities adapted themselves to the obligations of the Russian president and with it caused timid and suppressed opposition protestations, who criticized the waste of money and suggested it should instead have been used to build kindergartens."
The paper added that the talks at the Palace of Serbia were brief, because Putin was on his way to Milan, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel was waiting.
The article further noted that the visit ended with the long-awaited parade, and that Putin, "who was already 20 minutes late for the meeting with Merkel, stopped being in a hurry."
"It's not about that it was all so touching. It was something more than a provincial parade. Something honest and natural, so much from the heart and soul, that one could not look away from the parade," wrote Kommersant's reporter, adding: "Here, in Belgrade, they are truly grateful."
The government's Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily carried an article with the headline, "Russia does not trade with friendship" - quoting Putin's statement - and also noted the Russian president referred to Serbia as "the closest ally."
The paper adds that in the talks between Putin and the Serbian leadership, "friendship and energy" were mentioned the most.
"We need to diversify our economic ties, to which the situation so far contributes. Russia would not want to prolong the war of sanctions with the EU, but while it is ongoing, countries like Serbia have a chance to take a worthy place in the Russian market," the article said.
Izvestia writes that Russia was a major participant in the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade and that a Russian delegation has not been welcomed in this manner in a long time, "both on the official, and on the popular level."
The Moskovskii Komsomolets daily writes that Putin was greeted in Serbia as "a winner" and that even loyal subjects in Russian regions rarely organized such welcome for him.
"For a country that aspires to join the EU, in the present situation, it is not just a goodwill gesture, it is heroism that borders on a lack of reason. But, the Serbian authorities had their reasons," the newspaper said.
The daily noted that "Serbs do not hide that good relations with Moscow are no less important than closer ties with the EU."
In an article headlined, "Serbs ask Russian president to save them from NATO," Komsomolskaya Pravda writes that the Serbian authorities "changed their historical calendar" as a sign of special attention toward the Russian leader - and celebrated the anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade four days earlier.