Russian PM Vladimir Putin pays official visit to Serbia
23. March 2011. | 05:15 12:44
The Russian prime minister arrived in Belgrade from Slovenia at 11.45 a.m. on a special plane Ilyushin, which was followed by Mig planes of the Serbian Army. The issues Putin intends to discuss while in Belgrade refer to the two countries' economic cooperation, especially the South Stream pipeline, but also to current affairs of international importance, such as the situation in Kosovo, the Near East and northern Africa, particularly in Libya.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived in Belgrade a little before noon on Wednesday.
Putin is headed towards the Palace of Serbia, where he will begin a series of meetings with Serbia's officials by conferring with Serbian President Boris Tadic.
The Russian prime minister arrived in Belgrade from Slovenia at 11.45 a.m. on a special plane Ilyushin, which was followed by Mig planes of the Serbian Army.
Putin was welcomed at the airport by Serbia's Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic and Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic.
Cvetkovic and Putin will also discuss potential energy arrangements, which are likely to be made in future.
Putin visited Serbia almost ten years ago, on June 16-17, 2001, as the then president of Russia.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will visit Belgrade on Wednesday and confer with Serbian top officials, including President Boris Tadic, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, Parliament Speaker Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic and caucus whips, after which he should also attend a football match between Red Star and Zenit.
According to announcements from Moscow, the issues Putin intends to discuss while in Belgrade refer to the two countries' economic cooperation, especially the South Stream pipeline, but also to current affairs of international importance, such as the situation in Kosovo, the Near East and northern Africa, particularly in Libya.
Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed in Ljubljana on March 22 that the South Stream natural gas pipeline project would go ahead and stressed that all of Europe would benefit from it.
At the news conference the two prime ministers said that relations between Russia and Slovenia "are very good and friendly" as demonstrated by the two countries' extremely fruitful economic cooperation and deeper political ties.
Putin and Serbian officials should also sign several international agreements.
The Russian PM will fly over to Serbia after he completes his visit to Slovenia, and Serbia's air traffic will be blocked during the landing and takeoff of Putin's plane. At the airport, the Russian diplomat will be welcomed by Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic.
Serbian President Boris Tadic will officially welcome Putin in front of the Palace of Serbia at 11.20 a.m., after which the two high officials will hold a closed meeting and thus open the series of talks between the Russian PM and Serbian officials.
The plenary session of the two countries' delegations will be chaired by President Tadic, after which the two governments' delegations should hold a meeting with Putin and Cvetkovic as co-chairs.
Due to security reasons, Putin's exact route has not been made public yet, but the media have noted that the Russian PM would be driven around the city in an armoured vehicle, ZIL 41052 which is said to be able of developing speeds of up to 195 kilometres per hour and enduring a minor nuclear blast.
The security ring in charge of protecting Putin will comprise 5.000 people and maximum security measures will be enforced at the Marakana stadium as well, where Putin is supposed to attend a football match between Sanct Petersburg's Zenit and Belgrade's Red Star, due to start at 6 p.m.
Cvetkovic, Putin to sign a number of agreements and discuss open issues
The Wednesday meeting between the prime ministers of Serbia and Russia, Mirko Cvetkovic and Vladimir Putin respectively, will include signing of three intergovernmental agreements, one agreement will be signed at the level of the city of Belgrade and still another one will be concluded between companies, and the officials are also expected to discuss a number of open issues.
The prime ministers of Serbia and Russia will confer during Putin's one-day visit to Belgrade, and after the talks, a number of agreements on economic cooperation will be signed.
As Tanjug was told in the Serbian government, there are three agreements which will be signed at the state-level including a scientific-technical cooperation agreement (which will be signed by Serbian Minister of Science, Education and Sports Zarko Obradovic), an agreement on cooperation in the area of tourism (which will be signed by Serbian Minister of Economy and Regional Development Nebojsa Ciric) and the third one on cooperation in the area of international road transport (which will be signed by Serbian Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Milutin Mrkonjic).
The agreement on cooperation between the city of Belgrade and a Russian energy company, which is to promote the city's thermal-energy sector, will be signed by Belgrade Mayor Dragan Djilas.
Putin and Cvetkovic will also discuss the realization of energy projects, which were signed earlier, including Naftna Industrija Srbije (Petroleum Industry of Serbia), the underground gas storage Banatski Dvor and the South Stream gas pipeline.
The prime ministers will also discuss the trade ties between the two countries,that is realization of the Free Trade Agreement between Serbia and Russia.
Special topic will be Russia's USD 800 million-loan to Serbian Railways, which has not been used yet, Tanjug learned.
Jeremic: Serbia expects great results from Putin’s visit
Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said that the visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is an important event for Belgrade and that Serbia is expecting great results from that visit.
Jeremic said that Serbia will be stronger after Putin's visit. Jeremic said that Serbian top officials and Putin will discuss political and economic issues, particularly energy and infrastructure.
Putin will arrive tomorrow on a working visit to Serbia, where he will meet with Serbian President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic. Putin is also scheduled to visit the Serbian parliament.
Bajatovic: With Putin on forming of Sogas Srbija and Gazprombank
General Director of Srbijagas Dusan Bajatovic has stated for Tanjug that during the visit of Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to Belgrade on Wednesday an agreement could be signed on the establishment of an insurance company Sogas Serbia, as a joint company of Srbijagas and Russia's energy giant Gazprom.
"We are on the way to form a joint insurance company Sogas Srbija. The Serbian government already gave their approval, and the National Bank of Serbia is expected to issue the licence," Bajatovic underscored.
"We are also on the way to bring Gazprombank to Serbia, but the issue needs to be further discussed at the Serbian government," he added.
Bajatovic announced the possibility of joint investments in the construction of gas-fired cogeneration facilities in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Pancevo and Nis, which would produce both electric and thermal energy.
He pointed out that, during Putin's visit to Belgrade, Serbia should begin negotiations on how to cover one part of Russia's gas delivery to Serbia with export of certain goods and services to Russia, so as to decrease Serbia's trade deficit with that country at least by one third.
Bajatovic said that a feasibility study for the section of the South Stream gas pipeline through Serbia is completed, as well as the first phase of the construction of the Banatski Dvor gas storage, adding that the second phase will depend on the commercial agreement yet to be reached.
Djuricin: Putin's visit is opportunity to attract large investments
President of the Serbian Association of Economists Dragan Djuricin has assessed that the forthcoming visit of Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to Belgrade is an exceptional opportunity to attract large investments, but also to put them in the context of Serbia, a country with an EU membership perspective.
"I hope that on Serbia's part there will be enough wisdom and negotiation skills to set two goals: that Serbia should remain on the EU integration pathway, and at the same time secure a larger inflow of Russian capital," Djuricin told Tanjug.
"It seems that Putin is visiting Serbia primarily as a geopolitician, then as a strategist, and then as a representative of huge capital, mainly the state capital, but also the private one. That means that the topics to be discussed are interconnected," Djuricin said.
According to him, those topics require considerable skill of Serbia's negotiators, as "Serbia should definitely be pro-European oriented, but must not be anti-Russian oriented."
Vesovic: Putin's visit should accelerate economic cooperation
Wednesday's visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Serbia should accelerate the processes of Serbian-Russian economic cooperation and point to new ideas and proposals which will be of long-term relevance to the economic relations between the two countries, said Deputy President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (PKS) Mihailo Vesovic.
Putin's meetings with Serbian leaders should open the door to strategic agreements between the two countries in the next ten to twenty years, Vesovic told Tanjug.
"Almost every time when there are political meetings at the top, they result in economic benefits, and any idea that could come out of these meetings is very important," he pointed out.
Vesovic reminded about the energy agreement between Serbia and Russia, which is very important and ensures regular supply, according to him.
He believes that Russian investments in Serbia, which total USD 1.4 billion to date, are at a satisfying level, but could be considerably higher.
Vesovic expressed expectation that Serbia will open the door to private investments from Russia, and allow small and medium companies to enter the market, which would further improve and expand cooperation.
"What we can offer the Russian Federation is highly trained personnel, solid infrastructure and access to certain markets. Russia, on the other hand, can offer raw materials and capital," Vesovic pointed out.
Schedule of Prime Minister Putin’s visit to Belgrade
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will be on a working visit to Serbia on 23 March, during which he will meet with Serbian President Boris Tadic, Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic and Serbian Parliament Speaker Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic.
Palace of Serbia
11.20 – Serbian President Boris Tadic officially welcomes the Russian Prime Minister at the plateau in front of the Palace of Serbia, Bulevar Mihajla Pupina 2. Cameramen will be allowed to record the official welcome ceremony.
11.30 – A tête-à-tête meeting between Tadic and Putin. The media will be allowed to report on the opening statements.
12.15 – A plenary meeting between the two delegations, chaired by President Tadic. The media will be allowed to report on the opening speeches by Tadic and Putin.
13.00 – A meeting of delegations of the two governments chaired by Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The media coverage of the addresses of the two prime ministers will be allowed.
13.45 – Signing of the agreement between the governments of Serbia and Russia (open to the media).
14.00 – Statements for the press by President Tadic and Putin.
House of the Serbian Parliament
14.45 – Meeting of Serbian parliament Speaker Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Media representatives who will be reporting on the events in the Palace of Serbia should arrive by 10.00 and media representatives who be will covering the event at the House of the Serbian Parliament by 13.45.