BELGRADE – Russia sees Serbia’s efforts aimed at cementing friendly ties between the two countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in Belgrade on Monday opening meeting with Serbian Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic.

“We highly appreciate your personal contribution to the development of relations with Russia, the attention you are paying to all areas of our cooperation,” Lavrov said. He noted that the convincing victory won by Vucic’s party during the elections indicates that the Serbian people support the policy pursued by it, including efforts aimed at developing friendly relations with Russia.

As for economic ties between the two countries, Russia’s top diplomat stressed that after last year’s decline, “this year we see little but sustainable growth.”

Lavrov expressed the hope that the recent meeting of the intergovernmental commission will make it possible to implement the decisions, which will help make the trend of economic cooperation growth “sustainable and irreversible.”

“Our cooperation in the humanitarian area, in foreign affairs is an example of cooperation based on mutual respect and willingness to understand each other’s stances, provide support and show mutual understanding,” the minister said.

For his part, the Serbian prime minister welcomed Lavrov in Russian, noting good political relations between the two countries and expressing confidence that the parties could raise economic relations to a higher level.

“I hope that you will feel at home in Serbia,” said Vucic addressing the members of the Russian delegation, TASS reported.