Konuzin: Putin's visit to boost relations between Serbia and Russia
21. March 2011. | 08:14
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to Serbia March 23 will boost the relations between the two countries and offer an opportunity to discuss all forms of cooperation, especially economic, Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Konuzin said Saturday.
Energy will also be an important topic during the visit, Konuzin told Tanjug.
According to him, Putin will meet with Serbian President Boris Tadic, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, Parliament Speaker Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic and representatives from various political parties, as well as attend a meeting of the two countries' delegations.
Kosovo will also be on the table, and Putin is expected to confirm Russia's support of Serbia's views on this issue, Konuzin noted. The South Stream gas pipeline is also going to be discussed, along with the overall economic relations and investments, he added.
Other topics will include the 2008 agreement between Russia and Serbia, referring to the modernization of the largest petroleum company in the country, Naftna Industrija Srbije, the construction of the gas storage facility in Banatski Dvor, northern Serbia, and other issues.
There are 15 new agreements between Serbia and Russia being drafted at the moment, said Konuzin, explaining that they include cooperation in science, technology and tourism.
Russian ambassador advocates strategy for economic cooperation with Serbia
Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Konuzin said Saturday a strategy for economic cooperation with Serbia was needed, adding that energy had already been recognized as a priority, but that increasing agriculture produce export from Serbia was also becoming important.
It is time to review the cooperation so far and raise it to the next level, he noted.
The cooperation between the two countries is already good when it comes to the pharmaceutical industry and construction, he remarked, adding that Russia was interested in metals, fertilizer and even more produce.
Russian companies are also interested in the Serbian chemical industry.
Serbia's agricultural export to Russia is 2.5 times higher than in 2009, and in January 2011 it doubled compared to the same month last year, said the ambassador.
Russian support is in line with the Serbian government priorities, which should raise the living standard and employment in the country, he concluded.