Beginning of Russia-Serbia talks in restricted format

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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,

Welcome to Russia. We are delighted to see you. Thank you for accepting our invitation.

Our relations are developing very positively. Our strategic partnership is being reaffirmed by our daily work. This concerns both the political sphere and our interaction in the fields of security and the economy.

Last year, our trade increased by 2 percent, and from January to September this year it went up by over 10 percent. The intergovernmental commission and other bodies created with the aim of promoting our relations are functioning actively.

I hope that we will be able to discuss all of this during your visit. Once again, welcome.

President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic : Mr President, friends,

I am delighted to be meeting with you again. Thank you for your kind words and for your hospitality here in Sochi. My dear friend, thank you very much for finding the time in your busy schedule for meeting with us. Of course, this is a great privilege for me and for all of us.

Every meeting with you is very important for my country, Serbia. I would like to thank you once again for your invariable support for Serbia, for helping us to preserve our territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty, and for your support on the international stage.

I must tell you that I am not optimistic about – how shall we put it? – the final solution that could become a compromise between Belgrade and Pristina. However, as you have just mentioned, we will talk about this later.

I must also say that our economic cooperation and trade are growing every year. In addition to this, we have accomplished a great deal in the sphere of gas pipeline construction. In fact, we have almost completed laying the gas pipeline across Serbia.

It is a huge investment project and a great opportunity for the development of my country and a safe future for our people.

I would like to point out that we are working closely together with Russian Railways (RZD), a highly professional and responsible player and Serbia’s partner.

Of course, we are grateful to you, Mr President, and to Mr Shoigu , for the high standards of our military-technical cooperation. I believe that there is much more that we can do in the future.

We have very fond memories of your landmark visit to Serbia and Belgrade, because it gave a powerful boost to the further development of our relations. We invite you to visit Serbia again in the near future.

I have brought you a letter from Serbian Patriarch Irinej. Thank you once again. I wish the Russian people and Russia all the best.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you. We hope you will come to Moscow next May.

Aleksandar Vucic: Thank you for the invitation.

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from http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/62237

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