At the meeting in Washington, Mike Pence has told Aleksandar Vucic that “Russia’s influence in this part of the Balkans not be expanded and that Serbia understands why the US is concerned.”
This is according to the daily Blic, which reported it on Wednesday, citing its diplomatic sources, and referring to Monday’s meeting at the While House between the US vice president and Serbia’s president.
The meeting, continues the article, went with “much less drama” than the meeting with the previous US administration, and touched upon “the Russian influence in Serbia and the Western Balkans.”
“It’s important for Americans to keep everything at the level where it is today. They do not view Russians as a threat, that relationship was relaxed. But, although Pence did not specifically say that, it could be concluded from the conversation that the Russian (-Serbian) Humanitarian Center in Nis should retain its ‘humanitarian’ character without granting its personnel diplomatic status,” the unnamed source said.
According to this, Pence “spoke about the time when Vucic came to Washington and said that the fact the Serbian president came at the very beginning of his five-year mandate speaks to Serbia’s priorities.”
The same source said that Pence “conveyed to Vucic the greetings and congratulations of US President Donald Trump, who assessed Vucic’s visit as very important for the development of relations between the two countries.”
It is added that Kosovo and Serbia’s EU integration were among the topics too.
“The US insists on the continuation of the dialogue with Pristina and in that regard values our side’s efforts. Pence said he was aware of the complexity of the issue, but that he was encouraging both sides, and would do everything in order for the talks to continue. He said Serbia would have the maximum possible assistance from the new US administration on the European path,” said newspaper’s source.
The US vice president also noted that Serbia “has friends in the Trump administration” and that they are interested in the success of Serbia, “and therefore in stability.”
The newspaper adds that Vucic stated after the meeting that he and Pence agreed to maintain “personal communication,” and that he invited US President Donald Trump to visit our country.
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