During the meeting the two presidents discussed the current state and future prospects of Russia-Serbia cooperation, as well as the implementation of joint investment projects. Vladimir Putin and Aleksandar Vucic also exchanged views on current regional issues.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, I am happy to see you in Moscow again.
The reason for our meeting this time is certainly important – both for Russia and Serbia. I am referring to the end of World War II or the Great Patriotic War, as it is called here. Naturally, there are glorious pages of history in the historical memory of our people when Serbia and Russia were fighting together against a common enemy.
This year we will celebrate the 180th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our states. Our trade is growing – last year it increased 23 percent. I am very pleased that we have an opportunity to talk informally about the package items in our relations this evening.
President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic (retranslated): First of all, Mr President, I would like to thank you for this incredibly warm reception.
I would like to congratulate you on your exceptional victory in the Russian presidential election and wish you every success in your work.
On behalf of Serbian citizens, I would like to thank you for the support that you have always granted Serbia in times of trial.
As you know, nothing is less enduring in international relations than gratitude, and I would like to thank you once again for what you did in 2015 when you literally saved the Serbian people, that have been one of the most suffering nation during the past century, from the stigma of genocide by vetoing the UN British resolution.
I would like to assure you that the Serbian people will never forget what you have done. You have protected Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty many times.
I would also like to say that I am very satisfied with the growth of our trade. In the first three months of this year it has already increased by 10 percent compared to the corresponding period of 2017.
Serbia will preserve its independence. Serbia will preserve its military neutrality and is not going to become a member of NATO or any other military alliance.
In concluding my introduction, I would like to say that Serbia has demonstrated that it is a reliable partner to the Russian Federation. Serbia has never acted against the interests of your country when Russia was going through hard times.
Thank you for the warm reception once again. I would like to express hope that we will further promote our cooperation and improve it in all areas.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.