Lavrov, Vucic praise relations, criticize OSCE media office
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Russia is satisfied with the development of relations with Serbia, with whom it has an intense political dialogue.Source: Tanjug
The Russian foreign minister, who is in Belgrade for the OSCE Ministerial Council, spoke during a joint news conference with Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic after their bilateral meeting on Friday.
The two officials announced that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will visit Serbia in the first half of 2016.
"We have always been allies in all wars and difficult situations, and we will remain allies," Lavrov said.
According to the Russian minister, relations between Serbia and Russia are not burdened by "politicized considerations" nor by attempts to introduce restrictive measures - and this enables development of economic and trade cooperation.
He noted that Russian companies are interested in participating in privatizations in Serbia.
Vucic said he expects "many joint agreements and jobs" to be confirmed before Medvedev arrives here.
"We are a small country and we cannot help Russia as much as it can help us, but we feel that we are a fair partner - something we have demonstrated also by not stabbing Russia in the back during when it was going through difficult times," said Vucic, adding that believes that "people in Russia respect that."
Lavrov said that relations between the two countries are characterized by closeness, solidarity, and centuries-long cooperation.
Lavrov noted that Vucic visited his country in October while Medvedev's visit to Serbia will come early next year.
"Such intense dialogue and high-level contacts are useful for building the whole structure our cooperation," he said.
The Serbian prime minister also recalled the traditionally good and friendly relations between the two countries, something that was, he said, confirmed during his last visit to Moscow.
Both Lavrov and Vucic on Friday criticized the work of OSCE's Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media, saying its was "politicized."
Lavrov said this institutions should establish clear standards for its work, but that "this does not suit some countries" as they are more comfortable having "amorphous structures prone to manipulation."
He was especially critical of the media freedom representative, Dunja Mijatovic, who he said "did not react when two Turkish journalists were arrested only because they published information that they had" and added there were other similar instances.
"Some journalists were even physically attacked, not to mention the cases where Russian journalists were killed during the war in eastern Ukraine. This job in the OSCE is much politicized, catering to a certain number of countries," said Lavrov.
Vucic said that "the first great orchestrated attack with falesehoods on the government of Serbia" also came from Dunja Mijatovic, and specified that it happened after last year's floods in Serbia.
"I thought truth was important and tried my hardest to prove that certain media's reporting was incorrect. And then I realized that it all had nothing to do with truth, justice and facts," he said.
Vucic added that he was "accustomed to receiving blows" each time he "tries to conduct a sovereign policy."