Valery Alekseev (L) and Tomislav Nikolić in Belgrade on Wednesday (Tanjug)
BELGRADE — The friendship between Serbia and Russia is made of unbreakable ties that reach far into the past, and nobody can deny us this love, says Tomislav Nikolić.
The Serbian leader made the statement as he met in Belgrade on Wednesday with International Fund for the Unity of Orthodox Peoples’ President Valery Alekseev.
“The Orthodox faith binds us together, as does our joint fight for freedom and justice,” a statement from the president’s cabinet said, and added that Nikolić during the meeting stressed the importance of the building of St. Sava’s Temple in Belgrade, in which Russia has a significant role.
“This holy place has special value for Serbia, and its renewal would be almost impossible without the participation of our Russian friends,” he was quoted as saying.
Alekseev explained that the organization he is heading works to strengthen “the Orthodox public” in various countries, with the goal of promoting high Christian and cultural values in a modern society.
The Russian guest emphasized that special effort has been made when it came to the Fund’s activities in the Balkans, where several chapters had been set up, tasked primarily with educational activities and in cooperation with Serbia’s state and Church circles.
Russian Ambassador to Serbia Aleksandr Chepurin
BELGRADE – The relations between Serbia and Russia are at a very high level and they continue to follow an upward trend, it was stated by the two countries’ officials at a reception in the Russian Embassy on the occasion of Russia Day on Wednesday evening.
Russian Ambassador to Serbia Aleksandr Chepurin said at the opening of the ceremonial reception that Russia is on a constant rise, and on this path it is constantly trying to strengthen its cooperation with the brotherly Serbian people.
Noting that Russia has a 1,150 year-long history, Chepurin said that the two countries have similar pasts through which the names of their countries constantly changed, while the name of the peoples remained the same.
The Russian ambassador stated with regret that Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and First Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Aleksandar Vucic could not attend the reception, which brought together around 2,000 people.
President Nikolic and Prime Minister Dacic addressed the guests via video link, and congratulated Russia Day to all citizens of the Russian Federation.
Nikolic said that the relations between the two countries are at a very high level.
“If it were up to the peoples, we would be even closer and our cooperation and ties would be even better. All for the benefit of our peoples,” the president said.
Nikolic noted that recently he and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement on strategic partnership, whose benefits are yet to become visible to the citizens of the two countries.
“Big Russian investments are emerging. Russia is heading one great part of the progressive world. When Russia is doing well, Serbia is doing well also. When Russia is facing a problem, Serbia is facing a problem also,” Nikolic said.
Dacic stated that at the moment Serbia and Russia have one of the highest levels of cooperation in their history.
He expressed Serbia’s firm commitment to continue to develop political, economic and all other kinds of cooperation with Russia.
Serbian Parliament Speaker Nebojsa Stefanovic said that he is certain that the strategic partnership, traditional friendship and understanding between the two peoples will continue to develop.
“The history of our peoples is as long as the entire history of Russia and Serbia. We have always been inextricably linked and turned to one another,” Stefanovic said.
Serbian Patriarch Irinej said that Russia offered support to the Serbian people both in the past and today, pointing to the brotherly tie between the two peoples throughout history.