Minister Dacic: “Lavrov is one of Serbia’s dearest guests”

First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia I. Dacic, met today, in Belgrade, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov.

Minister Dacic stated at the press conference that the Russian Foreign Minister did not come to Serbia to put any pressure on but to provide assistance to the country.

“Russia never put any pressure on Serbia. Lavrov is one of Serbia’s dearest guests; he has done so much for Serbia, which is appreciated very much.”

Minister Dacic also said that Serbia was very grateful to Russia for its support to the preservation of Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

“I cannot emphasize enough that without Russia it would not have been possible to protect our territorial integrity and sovereignty. Serbia will never be an anti-Russian state, as some other countries have become, and it will not align with EU sanctions against Russia, Minister Dacic stated.

He underlined the importance of the forthcoming visit of Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic to Moscow, on 21 December, where he would have talks with Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu on military technical cooperation.

Minister Dacic further pointed out that the talks would focus on Serbia’s request for a grant in aircraft and military equipment from Russia. He underscored that the Prime Minister’s visit to Moscow would be aimed at finalizing discussions concerning the grant, which would also include aircraft and materiel for other army segments.

The Ministers signed today the Plan for the two Ministry consultations in 2017/2018.

Minister Lavrov underlined that the talks with his Serbian colleague Ivica Dacic included bilateral cooperation, its enhancement in all areas, and the situation in the region.

Minister Lavrov stated that any solutions and processes regarding Kosovo were acceptable to Russia, provided UNSC resolution 1244 was fully respected, and that his country was against the Resolution’s unilateral revision.

“We stand in solidarity with our Serbian friends and are against any attempts at unilateral revision of this Resolution”, stated Lavrov.

Speaking about Russian support, Dacic said that he could call on Lavrov, whenever necessary.

Serbia’s wish to become an EU member had absolutely nothing to do with its relations with Russia, and we would not allow anyone to translate it into anti-Russian positions, stressed the Serbian Foreign Minister.

“I not only refuse to be anti-Russian, I refuse to be anti-Serbian, as well. It turns out that Serbia has to choose between the EU and Russia; in that case, our choice will be Serbia”, Dacic said.

Minister Dacic presented to his Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov an extraordinary gift – a special hand-made red felt cloak with Orthodox motifs, embroidered with a golden yarn. The cloak was specially made for Lavrov, by a cultural and art society of Leposavic, Kosovo and Metohija.

Minister Lavrov’s gift to his Serbian host was a CSKA Moscow FC shirt.

In addition, Miladin Milosevic, Director of the Archive of Yugoslavia, presented to Ministers Dacic and Lavrov a collection of documents “Meetings and talks on the highest level between the Leaders of Yugoslavia and the USSR, in the period 1965 – 1980.”