At the invitation of the Speaker of the Russian State Duma Vyacheslav Viktorovich Volodin, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic took part in the online Council session and 13th Plenary Session of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO).
"Dear Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Mr. Volodin,
Distinguished heads and representatives of the parliaments of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan,
Distinguished members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Republic of Serbia has traditionally friendly relations with all the CSTO members - the Russian Federation, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and through cooperation in the CSTO we have the opportunity to strengthen them further. Therefore, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the session of the Council and the 13th Plenary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.
Let me first greet you on my own behalf and on behalf of all the members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.
As you know, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia has the status of an observer in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, and its delegation will always try to make a special contribution to the work of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly. Our continued cooperation, taking into account the difficult circumstances, clearly testifies to our recognition of its importance. The Republic of Serbia, with its policy of military neutrality and readiness to actively participate in the work of the CSTO in action, confirms the sovereignty and independence of its international position, is based on a principled policy led primarily by Serbia’s interests.
This session is held in extraordinary conditions, at a time of great global challenges. At a time when the whole world is fighting the COVID virus, we are encouraged by the strong awareness that joint action is necessary to fight the pandemic, as well as to face all challenges. With that in mind, I would like to express my gratitude for the assistance provided to Serbia, especially to the military doctors and members of the specialized ABHO units of the Russian Armed Forces in terms of humanitarian cooperation, protection of the population, and to stress the readiness for its continuation to be able to face this global challenge more effectively.
Also, on behalf of the Republic of Serbia, I repeat that we stand ready to provide solidarity and assistance to all who need it, as we have done many times this year. The Republic of Serbia has done its best to protect the lives of its citizens, as well as to provide full contribution to the global fight against the pandemic through the measures it has employed. We are convinced that our solidarity and joint actions are the only way to fight the pandemic as a global threat that does not recognize state borders.
On this occasion, I would like to welcome the strengthening of all states that contribute to the stability of the international order, as well as associations that aim to ensure peace, security and stability. I welcome the cooperation with states that are committed to respecting the principles of international law, such as the principles of territorial sovereignty and integrity of the state, i.e. preservation of state independence. Let me stress that we very much appreciate and are truly grateful for the stance of the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation - their continuous and principled support and the non-recognition of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo-Metohija, i.e. their respect for the universal principles of international law.
I hope that this session of the Council and the 13th Plenary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation will be successful, and the exchange of experiences will contribute to the deepening of cooperation between our parliaments and states.
Finally, let me wish you all good health and success in your further work.
Thank you for your attention."