President Vladimir Putin: Mr President, Mr Prime Minister, dear friends,
Allow me to start by wishing you a warm welcome to Moscow. My colleagues and I are very pleased to see you. The fact that you have come to Moscow today despite your complex political schedule back home is very important for both Russia and Serbia. We are very pleased at how actively the relations between our countries are developing. Our active political contacts and cooperation translate into growing economic relations. Our bilateral trade showed a six-fold increase over 2000–2007. I am sure that your visit today will also mark an important stage and give a good impulse to developing our ties, above all our economic ties. Welcome!
President of Serbia Boris Tadic: Mr President,
I thank you sincerely for the warm welcome. I fully agree with you that our political and economic ties have been showing steady growth over recent years. I think that the signature of the energy sector agreements today will open up new opportunities for cooperation between our countries, for a strategic partnership that benefits Serbia and Russia. Our statistics also confirm what you just said, namely, that trade between our countries has indeed grown six-fold over 2000–2007. After the signature of today’s agreements, we think it will be possible to take our level of economic cooperation to an even higher level.
Relations between our countries are not confined to the economy. Everyone knows that Serbia has great respect for Russia’s position on Kosovo. Without Russia’s position Serbia would face much greater difficulty in defending its interests and its own position on Kosovo. I want to say once again that Serbia makes a principle of defending its interests in Kosovo, based on international law, and it will not waver in this line.
Mr President, I am deeply convinced that the close ties between our peoples (linguistic, cultural and spiritual) will also help to deepen the relations between our countries.