Sunday, October 20, 2013

Stronger Russia often meant stronger Serbia

10/18/2013 12:18:00 PM
BELGRADE - Russia's constant desire is for Serbia to be strong and prosperous, and when Russia gained strength it often made Serbia stronger as well, Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Chepurin has said, adding that the two countries will always be allies because that is the geopolitical reality.

  Even with some complications, it is obvious recently that the dialogue between Russia and Serbia is activating and that Moscow is willing to support Serbia in making decisions on tough issues, he stated. The most important issue is an energetic economic and social development and protection of identity, without which there is no future for Russia or Serbia, he told the daily Vecernje Novosti, adding that the two nations had a huge history, and that they had succeeded in protecting their identity despite challenges. 

 It is important to establish a long-term, close cooperation with mutual interest, he stressed. When asked if Serbia could count on Russia's veto in the UN Security Council if the issue of Kosovo's membership in the UN was raised, he responded that it was a question to be directed at Serbia itself and its political will. The Russians cannot be bigger Serbs than the Serbs themselves, he noted.

 Russia is willing to support Serbia in the UN if necessary and has said so a number of times, but it is important here to understand Belgrade's strategy, Chepurin added. Russia favours a solution for Kosovo that would respect the interest of the Serbs there and guarantee that their culture would be protected, he underscored. Russia has no impact on the current talks between Belgrade and Pristina since the former Serbian government wanted them to be facilitated by the EU, not the UN, he explained. 

That government asked Russia to support that decision and Russia did so, he stated, adding that the Russian government noticed at the time Serbia had been under pressure for a whole year. It was Serbia's choice and Russia is not allergic to the EU, he emphasized. Unlike the previous government, which turned to Russia when there was no other solution, it is noticeable now that the relations are moving towards faster cooperation and mutual benefits, the ambassador pointed out. 

 Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Serbian counterpart Tomislav Nikolic have met twice, in Moscow and Sochi, and Serbia's Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic have also visited Russia, he said. Concerning NATO, Chepurin stated that Russia considered it a relic of the 20th century, adding that the wounds from the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia were still fresh, and not only in Serbia. He said he would never understand and accept those who push the country into that alliance for 30 silver pieces, thereby compromising basic human values and degrading the memory of the victims. Serbia has a long tradition of being a non-aligned nation, he concluded. 

 Photo/Tanjug Video, archive

No comments:

Post a Comment