Vucic says Putin is "definitely coming to Serbia"
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin is definitely coming to Serbia, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told journalists in Moscow.Source: Tanjug
After his talks with the head of the Russian state on Tuesday, Vucic said that Putin had asked his aides to set a date for his visit to Serbia.
This means that Putin will definitely visit Serbia, Vucic said.
"If Putin had just said, 'I'll come', that would not mean that the visit would necessarily be realized," Vucic explained.
"We're far from solution"
The two presidents both spoke Russian as they met in the Kremlin earlier on Tuesday.
"It is a pleasure to have you here in Moscow," Putin said to Vucic, according to his remarks published on the Russian president's website. "I remember well your previous visit on May 8–9. Most recently, we celebrated the 180th anniversary of diplomatic relations."
"I note with satisfaction a steady increase in bilateral trade, namely, 23 percent last year and another 13.3 percent in the first half of this year. Russia's investment in the Serbian economy is also growing and now stands at USD 4 billion. I know we will need to talk about the situation in the region as well. I am very pleased to see you. Welcome," Putin said.
Vucic first thanked his Russian counterpart for inviting him to Moscow, and then stressed how important the meeting was to the Serbs.
"Dear Mr. President, respected friend, thank you for inviting me and for the chance to talk. It is an honor to meet with you, and this meeting is especially important to the whole Serbian nation," Vucic said, and added:
"Cooperation and relations between Russia and Serbia at the international level are very good, and I want to personally thank you for this, as well as for protecting the Serb interests, something you insist on, and this is of vital interest and importance to the Republic of Serbia. As you know, Mr. President, the situation in our region and in the Balkans is such that Serbia is exposed to numerous provocations and in despite our efforts and readiness to reach a compromise in Kosovo and Metohija, the situation is such that we are far from that, and any kind of solution. "
The Serbian president also said that economic exchange between the two countries is growing and that he hopes it would increase further.
"Thank you once again for everything you are doing for Serbia, and I invite you to visit Belgrade again," Vucic concluded.
Ahead of his meeting with Vladimir Putin, Aleksandar Vucic said it would be "one of their most important meetings."
"The situation in our region is very complex, it is necessary to measure every word and political move," Vucic warned in a statement to Serbian media in Moscow on Monday.
"At a time when we are economically progressing and can be satisfied with that, we have significant political problems in the region and, I would say, there are a lot things where is not entirely certain what the outcome could be if any disturbance of stability and peace occurred," added Vucic.
He announced that he will discuss with Putin bilateral relations, that are politically and economically good, "but must be much better"- as well as the situation in the region and the world, in order to get advice on how Russia can help us in achieving our political and national goals.
"We will also talk about many concrete projects. They are important for the better life of our citizens, the standard of living of our people, a richer Serbian society," Vucic said.
He said that he had the opportunity to see, during a break that he took, that "we are top news on two televisions (in Russia) - not only this visit, but also everything that is happening around us."
"From Skopje to what happened in Kosovo and Metohija last week, with the provocations of (Hashim) Thaci and all the others. We are trying to find the best solution for our citizens, primarily how to preserve lives, peace, security," explained Vucic.
He announced that he will first have a face to face meeting with Putin, that will continue with the delegations of the two countries over lunch. Vucic said it was "widely known that he is not someone who belongs to the philosophical circles and who would have broad theoretical discussions in Moscow" - and that instead, he came to seek concrete political support for Serbia.
"I believe that we will receive the support from Putin, as we have always had from Russia in the previous period. Today the circumstances and opportunities are different. There is more tension and it is important to talk about all of it. About all the individual events that happened and what can happen in the future. I have always been interested specifically in that. Putin is not a man who likes stories that are beating around the bush. Whenever we spoke, we always spoke very concretely," the Serbian president said.
When it comes to economic relations and trade exchange, Vucic noted that it is not directly proportional to the strength of our political relations, "and this is something that we must work out in a most concrete manner."
He announced "interesting things" - cooperation with Rosatom (Russia's nuclear corporation), as well as talks with Russian Railways about a dispatch center and maintenance of railroads in Serbia. Vucic also announced that a big business forum is being prepared in Belgrade, which he hopes will be supported by Putin, and which should involve about 4,000 to 5,000 businesspeople from Russia and Serbia.