The Parliamentary Friendship Group with Russia met today, at the National Assembly House, with the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Serbia, H.E. Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko.
The Head of the PFG with Russia Milovan Drecun stressed that the 154-member group is the largest in the parliament, which is a clear testament of the MPs’ interest in improving the bilateral and friendly relations between the two countries. He said that the National Assembly pays great attention to parliamentary diplomacy, as evidenced by the signing of the Protocol of Cooperation with the Parliamentary Friendship Group in the State Duma and the Federation Council.
"Developing parliamentary cooperation through parliamentary friendship groups will be our priority in the coming period. Parliamentary friendship groups have a great capacity to contribute to the development of overall bilateral relations, which are already exceptionally good between Russia and Serbia," Drecun said. He went on to highlight the importance of continuous improvement of cooperation in the fields of culture, sports, education and the economy.
He thanked the Russian Federation for supporting Serbia’s efforts to preserve its territorial integrity and prevent the final secession of Kosovo-Metohija, where that can be achieved first, which is in the United Nations. The Ambassador stressed that Russia will remain very active on this issue and prevent the plans and steps of the West, and that compromise is the only acceptable solution. Drecun pointed out that Russia's support is of crucial importance for Serbia, and in support of that, he presented data that testify to the difficult situation of Serbs in Kosovo.
The Russian Ambassador said he was very happy to have the opportunity to meet and exchange opinions with the MPs on what can be done to improve parliamentary and overall cooperation between Russia and Serbia, even though it is currently at the highest historical level. He said that the political relations between the two countries are developing in the best way possible and have never before been at the level at which the relations between the Serbian and Russian presidents are. The Ambassador announced that the coming visits of Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov and the Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Alexandrovich Kolokoltsev, as well as the visit of the Minister of Culture Olga Borisovna Lyubimova, during which a Russian-Serbian Cultural Forum and Days of Russia and Serbia Spiritual Culture would be organised.
The Ambassador went on to express satisfaction that that despite the pandemic that stopped the world economy at one point, no project between Serbia and Russia was interrupted.
Speaking about military-technical cooperation, the Ambassador said that it was at the highest level and fits the Serbian Prime Minister’s programme, which is fully supported by the National Assembly. As he said, the necessary procedures for signing the intergovernmental agreement for the opening of a Russian Ministry of Defence representative office in the Republic of Serbia to deal with the development of military-technical cooperation, are being completed.
The Ambassador believes that there is room to improve cooperation in the field of economy and especially agriculture.
"Improving cooperation in the field of agriculture has a strategic character, especially from the aspect of joint venture onto the third world market", said the Ambassador.
The officials agreed that parliamentary cooperation, regional activities included, is very important. The Ambassador pointed out that a session of the joint Commission and the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia is planned after the elections in the Russian Federation, to be held in Moscow.