MOSCOW – Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic on Thursday expressed his gratitude to the Russian President Vladimir Putin for Russia’s UN Security Council veto on the 1995 Srebrenica massacre resolution.
Nikolic and Putin held a meeting earlier in the day in Moscow. The two leaders discussed the state of Russian-Serbian relations, as well as the outlook for the future and pressing international issues, according to the Kremlin’s press service.
“[The visit to Moscow] allows me to thank you personally for everything that you have done for Serbia last year, you cannot even imagine how grateful Serbia is to you from these two steps that you have made. They concern the future of Serbia, and, I would say, the future of Republika Srpska,” Nikolic said during his meeting with Putin.
In July 2015, Russia vetoed a draft resolution in the UN Security Council that would condemn the 1995 killings in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica as a crime of genocide. Ten of the Security Council’s 15 members voted in favor of the document, while four, including China, abstained.
The resolution was aimed at promoting the stereotype of the alleged genocide of Bosnian Muslims committed by Serbs, Nikolic said, adding that Russia’s gesture will be remembered in Serbia.
Serbia’s president also thanked Russia for opposing the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) membership bid by the disputed breakaway region of Kosovo. Kosovo’s bid failed to gain a two-thirds majority support at the organization’s General Conference in November 2015.
The Srebrenica massacre occurred in 1995, in and around the Bosnian town of Srebrenica. The killings were perpetrated by forces loyal to Republika Srpska, an ethnically Serbian breakaway region of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice has classified the massacre in Srebrenica as genocide. Serbia and Republika Srpska do not deny the crime, but do not refer to them as genocide.