President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,
I am truly glad to present the President of Serbia with a high Russian state decoration – the Order of Alexander Nevsky.
The name of Alexander Nevsky – a great saint and a protector of warriors and diplomats, who brought glory to Russia and himself with his military victories and defended the independence of the motherland in the struggle against foreign invaders – enjoys special respect in our country.
The glorious names of outstanding Serbian leaders are part of the almost 300-year old history of this order. They include Prince Milos Obrenovic who led the struggle for Serbian independence in the 19th century and Prime Minister Nikola Pasic who headed the Serbian Government during World War I.
Now your name, Mr President, has been justly put on the honour list of the recipients of this order.
We know you as a supporter of the closest and warmest possible relations between Russia and Serbia. It is largely owing to your personal contribution that Russia-Serbia cooperation is making successful headway in all areas and is not subject to the international or political environment. We highly value your position of principle, Mr President.
Mr President, I wholeheartedly wish you good health, prosperity and new successes in your country’s highest office.
Thank you for your attention.
Vladimir Putin presents Alexandar Vucic with the Order of Alexander Nevsky.
President of the Republic of Serbia Alexandar Vucic (Speaking Russian.): Mr President, my dear friend,
Allow me to say just a few words in Russian.
Receiving the Order of Alexander Nevsky is a great honour for me and for Serbia, but also great responsibility for my future work to expand cooperation between Russia and Serbia.
My gratitude – it has to be said – is not just protocol: it is profound and sincere. This recognition, this decoration is very important for me.
Why do I say this? Because I am receiving this decoration from President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. And why do I stress this fact? Because President Vladimir Putin is a very important leader for Russia, he has elevated Russia, guarded its dignity, and also guarded the vital interests of the Serbian people.
Our people, the Serbian people, will never forget what Vladimir Putin did in 2015 when on the instructions of the President of the Russian Federation, Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have declared the Serbs a genocidal people. On that occasion President Putin upheld truth and justice, and so we come to everything we will be working on in the future with a great sense of responsibility.
Secondly, our two countries have very good political relations. Of course, we have plenty of opportunities to increase and expand our cooperation on economic matters.
I will never speak like the many other politicians who speak only of their love for Pushkin, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky.
This decoration, the recognition I received today is a great obligation for me to work for the future relations of Serbia and Russia.
Finally, I am proud of my native Serbia, I am proud of my country which deserves this decoration. In recent years Serbia has successfully preserved its independence, territorial integrity and military neutrality. This recognition means to us that we too have preserved Serbia as a free state.
Once again, thank you, Mr President, for appreciating the complex situation of our country, our Serbia.
And finally I would like to thank my family, because everything I said – it is, as I have said, a great honour for me and my family. I would like to dedicate this decoration to my father and the Vucic family from a small village of Cipulic where the Serbs have always loved Russia as they love Serbia.