Reports about deported Russians "absolutely false"
The recent media reports about alleged deportation of Russian nationals from Serbia are "absolutely false," the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.Source: Beta, TASS
TASS agency carried the MFA's statement that said Security Council of the Russian Federation Secretary Nikolai Patrushev's visit to Belgrade this was "had been pre-planned" with preparations having started "several months ago."
"Such events require long and serious preparations," the Russian MFA stressed, adding:
"As for reports of some Balkan media outlets and the Russian daily Kommersant that some Russian nationals have allegedly been deported from Serbia, they can hardly be called other than absolute fiction. We have to note with regret that it’s not the first time that journalists do not pay enough attention to checking and verifying the reliability of information sources and in fact turn into an instrument of information war in the hands of politicians."
The Russian Foreign Ministry "also drew attention to a commentary of Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic made on October 27 in which he described those reports as absolutely misleading," TASS reported.
The Kremlin knows nothing about the situation with the alleged expelling of several of Russian citizens from Serbia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier on Friday.
"No, we do not know anything," Beta agency quoted Peskov as saying, when asked to comment on media reports about this having taken place - and being the reason for this week's visit of Nikolai Patrushev.
"Patrushev is in the status of active cooperation and dialogue with his foreign colleagues. You know that he actively communicates with his counterparts in various countries around the world. Considering the special nature of our relations with the Serbs, of course, it is quite natural that there is such an exchange of visits. Of course, bilateral relations and the state of affairs in the region are discussed in the first place," Peskov said, according to Russia's TASS agency, quoted by Beta.
The Belgrade-based daily Danas said on Thursday that several Russian citizens were expelled from Serbia for participating in preparation of terrorist activities in Montenegro. The Moscow-based daily Kommersant on Friday referred to this report, saying that "a scandal without precedent in post-Soviet history has occurred in relations between Moscow and Belgrade."
Beta reported on Friday neither the Serbian MUP nor the Russian MFA responded to its queries about the veracity of the reports.