President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic (retranslated): Welcome, Mr President!
Welcome to Serbia, welcome to Belgrade! I hope that you will feel nice and comfortable here.
Serbia and Russia are genuine friends, and I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart, Mr President, for investing your energy, effort, work, love and respect in making the relations between our countries even better, even stronger.
Trade between our countries is growing all the time. Imports from Russia grew by 30 percent, exports from Serbia – by 4.1 percent.
All the areas we work together in are developing, everything is moving forward. We signed several agreements today. There are major new areas for cooperation such as innovative technology and digital technology.
We receive your proposals with great interest and very much hope that this Boiling Point [collaborative centre of Russia’s Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects] under your patronage will be extended to Serbia, and we will have this kind of hub here.
I would also like to say that all our agreements and contracts in the field of infrastructure and energy are not only developing, but are moving forward at the highest level, in leaps and bounds.
Regarding military-technical cooperation, we in Serbia are very pleased with this area. Thank you for your willingness and desire to help us in this matter.
If you remember, Mr President – I am very proud of what I am about to say – six years ago, when we met in Sochi, we were talking (Mr Lavrov was also there), discussing how Serbia could repay its huge accumulated debt. Well, now Serbia has no debt, and what’s more, it pays for everything on time, it makes advance payments and is a truly reliable partner in this sense.
In closing, I would like to thank you very much for all your effort and your support for Serbia’s independence, for the preservation of its territorial integrity, and other matters. And you can always count on us. Although Serbia might not be a large country geographically, you can still count on us.
Thank you and welcome.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Thank you for the kind words and the invitation.
You and I are in constant contact: recently we met in Russia and I remember my visit to Serbia.
I would like to thank the residents of Belgrade and the entire fraternal Serbian nation for giving me such a warm reception. It is visible on the faces of people in the streets of the city.
The roots of our relations are deep and long-standing, and the spiritual affinity of our people is obvious. All this is helping us build on our relations today.
Indeed, trade is on the upswing and has already reached $2 billion. I am particularly pleased to note that our relations are becoming more and more diversified, from engineering to energy and infrastructure. We also have new advanced areas that, I know, were discussed on the eve of my visit and we will also talk about them today.
I am very happy to visit the friendly and fraternal nation of Serbia, discuss what we have done recently and map out prospects for our cooperation in the near future.
Mr President, you have done much recently, in the past few years, to advance Serbia-Russia relations. And today I have the welcome task and great pleasure of presenting you with a Russian Federation state decoration for everything you have done on this highly righteous and noble front.
Alexandar Vucic: (Speaking Russian.) Thank you very much. This is a great honour for me and Serbia.
Thank you once again.