Serbian Innovation Minister Describes Russia As Serbia's Biggest Ally, Friend

BELGRADE (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 09th December, 2019) Serbian Innovation Minister Nenad Popovic said that Russia was Serbia's biggest ally and friend, which was protecting the interests of Belgrade.

On Sunday, the Serbian People's Party, which is headed by Popovic and is a part of the ruling coalition, held a party congress in Belgrade. The event was attended by members of foreign parties, which have friendly relations with the Serbian People's Party, including the United Russia.

"Today Serbia has no bigger friend and ally in terms of the protection of the state and national interests than Russia," Popovic said on Sunday.

The minister vowed to fight against any attempts to discredit Russia in the eyes of the Serbian people.

Popovic praised the recently reached free trade agreement between Serbia and the Eurasian Economic Union, saying that it opened a market of 200 million people for Serbian companies.

He also positively assessed the contract on the construction of a nuclear research center in Serbia, which was signed by Moscow and Belgrade in October. From Popovic's point of view, Serbia will get an opportunity to conduct civilian nuclear researches for the first time in 30 years.

The Russian-Serbian relations have been developing since the 19th century when Russia helped Belgrade to gain independence from the Ottoman Empire. Moreover, in 1914, the Russian Empire decided to provide support for Serbia amid the latter's crisis in relations with Austria-Hungary, which resulted in World War I.

The ties between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia were unstable as Moscow and Belgrade had several periods of tensions in the bilateral relations. However, the dissolution of both states opened new prospects for the development of the bilateral ties between Russia and Serbia. Moscow, particularly, supported Belgrade in the conflict around Kosovo and refused to recognize the latter as an independent state.