Serbian and Russian presidents Aleksandar Vucic and Vladimir Putin have reached agreement on the most important points in relations between the two countries.
The Belgrade-based daily Vecernje Novosti is reporting this on Thursday, referring to the talks in the Kremlin on Tuesday.
According to the newspaper, the most important of the four points is that, if the United States joins the Kosovo dialogue, so will Russia.
Vucic himself said this on Wednesday, revealing new details of his conversation with Putin. During what the daily said was “a cordial encounter in the Kremlin” the two presidents agreed on these basic points of future relations:
– Russia will firmly represent Belgrade’s position regarding the final status of Kosovo and Metohija
– As the manufacturer, Russia has given consent in principle to allow Serbia to negotiate the acquisition of S-300 air defense missile systems from Belarus
– Serbia has been officially invited to participate in the Turkish Stream gas pipeline projects, which would ensure the country’ energy security
– Serbia has undertaken an obligation to continue to side with Russia in the international arena, in this way at the same time protecting its own interests, including not to impose sanctions on Russia
Vucic, the article continues, returns with Belgrade “with this capital baggage” – determined to stay on the course of an independent Serbia that decides independently about its future.
The agreement reached in Kremlin’s luxurious rooms could very soon reverberate, because the untying of the entangled Kosovo knot is expected next year, the newspaper said.
It further claims that Vucic asked Putin directly whether Russia could become a mediator, in case the Kosovo dialogue format were to be expanded, and that Putin said yes.
The Serbian president explained that, although there has been “no official story” about new actors joining the dialogue, Belgrade was “merely seeking an equal stance on that issue, and could not discuss this topic earlier, because Russian state organs had not green-lighted it.”
“It was up to us to ask the Russians, and we have reached a kind of agreement. Each day, the (Kosovo) Albanian side insists on including the Americans. They are asking for it, but nobody’s approved it. If somebody were to say that the Americans must join the negotiations, we would say that somebody else will have to do that, too. That would validate the talks,” Vucic said.
The Kremlin was on Wednesday unwilling to comment on Russia’s possible role as a mediator, with spokesman Dimitry Peskov saying that the topic of Kosovo had been “seriously addressed during the Russian-Serbian talks.”