Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic received Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Chepurin on Wednesday in Belgrade.

On behalf of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and on his own behalf, the diplomat congratulated Brnabic on her recent appointment and wished her successful work, the government announced.

Brnabic “stressed that she greatly respects the long-standing ties and friendship with Russia, which is also an important partner of Serbia,” and “expressed the desire to extend this cooperation in the field of research and development, as well as through university cooperation.”

Chepurin “stressed Russia’s interest in further development of Serbia, as well as the need to build relations between the two countries,” and underlined that “economic cooperation is very important and that Russia is ready to increase investments not only in energy and transport, but also in other areas.”

Brnabic has handed a full transcript of her recent interview to the US agency Bloomberg to Russia’s ambassador, according to Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

TASS reported late on Thursday that Zakharova said Chepurin met with Brnabic “to determine what exactly she said (during the interview).”

During her meeting with Chepurin, Brnabic “assured Russia’s ambassador that her words about the country’s alleged choice of the European Union (membership, over closer ties with Russia) were misinterpreted by US media,” TASS reported, and quoted Zakharova as saying:

“The Serbian prime minister said her words had been misinterpreted by the US news agency, and handed over a full transcript of her interview with Bloomberg, which had no words attributed to her. We judge by these explanations.”

B92 English on July 4 published a translated version of an article that first appeared on our Serbian language website – with Tanjug as the source – while using quotes published on bloomberg.com under the headline, “Serbia will choose EU over Russia if forced, premier says.”

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