President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic (retranslated): Mr President,
It is a great pleasure to have you here in Serbia.
I want to state that during our one-on-one conversation in the Russian-Serbian format we covered almost all the subjects. But it is important for me to emphasise once again our gratitude to you, Mr President, for the support that you provide to Serbia, the Serbian people, the support that you provide to ensure preservation of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia, because you have been helping us on this matter all along in all forms through various organisations and institutions.
Our friendship shows concrete examples of economic growth which can be seen in the yearly expansion of trade. Our cooperation today is different, more comprehensive and more extensive than in previous years.
This cooperation is marked by good mutual understanding in all key areas. It seems to me that what was previously only in words is now in deeds, especially in the sphere of energy, military cooperation, infrastructure and transport, as well as education, culture, sports, tourism and all other areas of public life.
We are convinced, Mr President, that we can further develop our trade, and there are still many areas in which we can do so. So, I am grateful to the Russian representatives for opening to us new avenues and chapters, namely, digitisation, innovative technology and the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
I am especially grateful to your numerous representatives, including Mr Borisov, of course, if we talk about energy, and Mr Miller and Mr Ushakov, who are here with us.
I would also like to thank the ministers of the Government of Serbia, beginning with Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, – Nenad Popovic, (Aleksandar) Antic, Zorana Mihajlovic and many others, Mr (Nebojša) Stefanovic and (Ivica) Dacic. You have already heard how satisfied they are with cooperation in the areas of which they are in charge.
I also want to say to the Russian people that here, in Serbia, Russia will always find true and loyal friends.
I would like to use this opportunity to invite as many Russians as possible to visit Serbia. I think the number of tourists can be even bigger. I believe we can take part together in organising efforts in different fields of public life – this is also one of the areas that we can discuss in the future.
Mr President, thank you for your visit once again. Today’s circumstances are exceptional: I am being told that over 30,000 people in the central streets of Belgrade are awaiting your arrival in two hours. This shows how our citizens, our people feel about you.
Thank you very much again. Welcome to Serbia.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, Mr President.
First of all, I am grateful for the invitation.
And, of course, I would also like to start with our trade and economic ties.
We had a very detailed discussion of the development of our relations at a restricted-format meeting, one on one. In the year before last, our trade increased by 23 percent and continued growing last year, too. Trade has already reached $2 billion. Russia is probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest investor in the Serbian economy,
Indeed, our relations are progressing in a host of areas. You just mentioned practically all of them. These include trade in the direct sense of the word, energy, high technology, which is particularly gratifying, as well as transport and transport infrastructure. You have essentially covered everything.
Humanitarian, cultural and educational ties also play a major role in our relations.
We continue cooperating in defence and security. Our law enforcement bodies and prosecutor-general’s offices are working together, which is also very important. We continue training Serbian personnel.
Speaking about defence cooperation, I must say we not only supply military equipment but also buy munitions, including military equipment from Serbia.
In other words, the efforts are completely mutual, it is a two-way street. And I would like to thank you and all of your colleagues for taking this attitude to the development of Russia-Serbia relations and express the hope that during today’s joint work we will create conditions for further steps on developing our bilateral cooperation.
Thank you for your attention.