Vucic, Putin to talk pipeline, arms, Serbian exports, Kosovo

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic will together visit St. Sava's Temple in Belgrade, Vecernje Novosti is reporting.

Source: Tanjug
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Vucic and Putin are seen during a previous meeting (EPA-EFE, file)
Vucic and Putin are seen during a previous meeting (EPA-EFE, file)

The detailed plan of the Russian leader's January visit is still being worked on, and according to the newspaper, there is a possibility that Putin will visit "one place outside Belgrade."

It is also stated that Putin is preparing at least 20 strategic agreements to be signed with our country, worth several hundred million euros, related to investments in infrastructure, energy, agriculture, defense systems, education and tourism.

Among them should be contracts on the construction of a railway corridor, Serbia's connection to the TurkStream gas pipeline, delivery of Russian T-72 tanks and anti-aircraft missiles, and export of Serbian food products to Russia.

According to Vecernje Novosti, the inevitable topic for the two leaders will be "the perspective of the dialogue with Pristina and consideration of the possibility of finalizing it with a compromise solution."

During his stay in Belgrade, Putin is expected to present Vucic with the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky, a Russian accolade to be received by a Serbian statesman for the first time in 100 years. The last to receive the medal was former Serbian Kingdom and later Yugoslav Prime Minister Nikola Pasic.

In order to decorate St. Sava's temple in Belgrade, the largest Orthodox church in the Balkans, Russia has donated more than ten million euros to our country. The two leaders will agree on continued Russian assistance in order to complete the works inside the temple in 2019, the paper said.

Putin has already visited this shrine when Serbian Patriarch Irinej presented him with the Order of the St. Sava of the First Degree - the highest decoration of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

At the time, the Russian president promised concrete assistance for the completion of the church, located in Belgrade's central Vracar municipality, that should symbolize the closeness between the two nations.

The first step was made by the Russian company Gasprom Neft, thanks to whom a mosaic has been installed under the main dome of the edifice.

According to a framework plan that should be confirmed by the two presidents, the works on the interior of the temple should be completed by the end of next year.

Holiday messages

In a holiday message to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that Russia-Serbia relations were developing dynamically in the spirit of a strategic partnership.

"I am confident our upcoming meeting in Belgrade will contribute to further strengthening of mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in the most diverse areas. I wish happiness, health and success to you, to your family and to those closest to you, and well-being and prosperity to the brotherly Serbian nation," Putin's New Year and Christmas message read.

The message was on Wednesday presented to Vucic by Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Chepurin, who also handed to him a holiday message from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

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