BELGRADE, Serbia – Russia will continue to help Serbia strengthen its defense potential and continue with joint military exercises, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a news conference after talks with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade.
“We also will discuss military and defense industry cooperation with our Serbian partners. We will continue to meet with Serbian leaders and help in strengthening Serbia’s defense capacity, develop scientific and industrial cooperation with the defense companies in Serbia, practice of joint military exercises,” Putin said.
The Russian president also said that his country values the position of the Serbian president, who is not affected by the winds of the political situation.
In honoring his Serbian counterpart with the Alexander Nevsky Order, Putin emphasized that, thanks to Vucic’s personal participation, “Russian-Serbian relations in various sectors are developing successfully and are unaffected by the political and international situation.”
“We value your stance, dear President,” said Vladimir Putin.
Russia also shares Serbia’s concern with recent provocative Kosovo measures, including a decision to create its own army, which could lead to destabilization of the situation in the Balkans, Putin said.
“Russia, like Serbia, is interested in ensuring that the situation in the Balkans remains stable and secure,” Putin told a joint news conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade.
“In particular, as regards Kosovo, the Russian position is well known: we are in favor of a viable and mutually acceptable solution for Kosovo, in accordance with Belgrade and Pristina, based on UN Security Council Resolution 1244,” he added.
The Russian president noted that the Pristina authorities have recently taken a series of provocative measures that have seriously aggravated the situation in the region, including the announcement of the creation of the so-called Kosovo army.
“Russia fully shares the concerns of Serbian leaders and citizens, realizing that such irresponsible actions by the leadership of Kosovo can lead to destabilization in the Balkans,” he said.