Medvedev Visit to See Strengthening of Ties

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic says that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Serbia on Tuesday is historically significant for both countries.

The visit will see the joint celebration of the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade during World War II and the signing of a number of pacts.

The Kremlin notes that Medvedev and Serbian President Boris Tadic will have an opportunity “to discuss all issues relating to bilateral cooperation”.

It is expected that traditional political, cultural and religious ties will be bolstered through initiatives to promote economic cooperation.

During the visit, the two parties will discuss the provision of a €1 billion Russian loan to Serbia. Belgrade plans to spend a third of the sum on covering the state budget deficit. The rest will be allocated to infrastructure projects involving Russian companies, such as construction of the Belgrade metro, a circle road and a modern railroad hub, Itar-Tass reports.

Bilateral agreements will reportedly be signed in the fields of culture, science and technology, security, education, air travel and parliamentary cooperation.

Additionally, the Serbian government and Russia’s interior and emergency situations ministries will also sign cooperation pacts on Tuesday. Under these agreements, the two sides will cooperate in combating organised crime and in dealing with natural and man-made disasters. Under an associated plan, a base at Nis airport in southern Serbia will be made available for the rapid transit of Russian and Serbian rescue teams to disaster zones.

The status of Kosovo and preservation of Serbia’s territorial integrity will also be discussed during the Russian president’s visit. Tadic has said that Belgrade greatly values Moscow’s support on this issue. Russia has not recognised Kosovo’s unilaterally declared independence.

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