BELGRADE – Russia appreciates Belgrade’s position on non-participation in the EU’s sanctions against Russia despite pressure from Washington and Brussels, Moscow State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin said at a meeting with speaker of the Serbian Parliament Maja Gojkovic. In an interview with Sputnik, Gojkovic commented on relations between the two countries.

The speaker of the Serbian parliament said that she informed Sergey Naryshkin about the current political developments in her country.

Among priorities of the Serbian policy she emphasized two main points: “full EU membership as well as further development of close relations with Russia and other countries which Serbia perceives as their traditional friends”.

During the meeting, Naryshkin stressed that Russia has always perceived Serbia’s plans to integrate with the European Union with understanding. But at the same time they should not hinder the development of Russian-Serbian relations, he stressed.
“Moreover, Speaker Naryshkin confirmed that Russia firmly respects the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia, and that it won’t support the self-proclaimed independence of Kosovo,” Gojkovic said.

While negotiating with the EU, Serbia never broke off friendly and economic ties with many countries outside the EU, including Russia. In an interview with Sputnik, Gojkovic denied media reports claiming that Russia hinders Serbia’s integration with the EU and also commented on Serbia’s plans to enhance cooperation with the countries in the Black Sea region, in particular in the framework of the organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).

“Members of the BSEC have different political and social systems, but we are united by a desire to cooperate in various fields. It is important to do this through concrete projects. When we chaired in the organization in 2010, we advocated concrete steps as well as strengthening of the international positions of the organization. It is necessary to develop economic ties, and if they succeed, we will also be closer in political terms,” Gojkovic stressed.

The BSEC is a regional organization aimed at strengthening political and economic cooperation in the Black Sea region. The organization consists of 12 member states, including Russia and Serbia.