Medvedev announces cooperation between Serbia and Russia in agriculture, railways and energy

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev finished his official visit to Serbia yesterday.

In his speech to the members of the Serbian Parliament, he spoke about the economic cooperation between the two countries in the fields of agriculture, railways and energy with the construction of the pipeline.

“Our people want to stay in touch; about 70,000 Russian tourists come to Serbia, about 60,000 Serbs come to Russia. Today, we also brought the page from the Gospel of Miroslav to Serbia and have returned the paintings of the Russian artists,” said Medvedev.

Medvedev also thanked Serbia for its principled position of non-adherence to the sanctions against Russia, which the country will appreciate and remember.

“When we entered into conflict with the EU, the value of our foreign trade with the EU was over 407 billion euro, while now it has decreased twice. Russian President Putin has launched an initiative to get in touch with other countries and I see no reason why the EU would not be able to approach this project,” said Medvedev.

“We are witnessing great and serious documents signed today in the field of railway, technology, science, construction of medical research institutes and all of this leads us into the future,” Medvedev said after a meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, pointing out that the agreements display mutual trust between Serbia and Russia.

Vucic underlined the growing trade between Serbia and Russia. In the first eight months of this year, bilateral trade amounted to around 2.2 billion euro, up almost 8 per cent year-on-year.

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Serbia already benefits from the fact that the EU is no longer allowed to sell its agricultural and food products to Russia. This is a consequence of reciprocal sanctions between Brussels and Moscow during the last five years. No cheese from Holland is sold on supermarket shelves in St. Petersburg or Vladivostok, but cheese from Serbia is. Serbia’s Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic, will travel to Moscow five days after her Russian counterpart’s visit to seal the free trade agreement, says Oleg Bondarenko of the Russian Progressive Politics Foundation.

According to him, the signing of a free trade agreement between Serbia and the Eurasian Economic Union is particularly important for Prime Minister Medvedev. This will facilitate the trade in Serbian products to countries such as Belarus and the Central Asian republics.

The prime minister was particularly interested in the construction progress of the 402-kilometre TurkStream pipeline to Serbia from Turkey via Bulgaria which, according to Moscow, is going to supply the western Balkan countries. It has a capacity of 12.87 billion cubic metres of gas per year.

Russian analysts say that Kremlin expects the Serbian section to be completed according to the plan by the end of this year, but there are problems with progress in Bulgaria. Russian fossil fuel giant Gazprom also wants to use the pipeline but is not allowed to own it according to EU law.

During Medvedev’s visit, ministers and representatives of the two governments also reached an agreement on the establishment of cultural information centres, on the modernization of the railway line between Serbia and Montenegro, as well as an agreement on the approval of a state export credit to Serbia.

Agreements were also signed in the segments of education, plant protection, economics and innovation, and the construction of a nuclear science, technology and innovation centre. Furthermore, the two countries signed a customs cooperation agreement.

(eKapija, 19.10.2019)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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