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Opinions & Interviews

5 Dec 2019

Serbia president: We are proud of our Belarusian friends

Serbia president: We are proud of our Belarusian friends
Aleksandar Vucic. An archive photo

MINSK, 5 December (BelTA) – Serbia reaffirms its friendship with Belarus and readiness to develop cooperation in various areas, Serbia President Aleksandar Vucic said in an interview with the Belarus 1 TV channel, BelTA has learned.

“Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko is a sincere friend of Serbia and the Serbian people. Belarus is a truly friendly country for Serbia. We are proud of our Belarusian friends. We have already done a lot, but there is still a huge untapped potential for further activity,” said the president of Serbia.

He emphasized the potential for bilateral trade and stressed the advantages of Belarusian machinery. “I believe we can open up new areas in all spheres of public life,” Aleksandar Vucic said.

The Serbian leader also revealed some details of his meeting with the Belarusian head of state: “He once told me as part of our conversation: “Aleksandar, if there is anyone who understands the position of Serbia, then it is me. And I replied: “If there is anyone who understands the position of Belarus, then it is me.” “Despite all our difficulties, both we and you want to follow our own path, to preserve the right to make independent decisions. This is very important,” said Aleksandar Vucic.

According to him, today the world is at war through trade sanctions. “Nowadays, money and strategically important products have become weapons. These are the key means of pressure in relations between great powers, and for us, relatively small countries, it is very important to stay together,” the president of Serbia said.

He spoke in favor of developing open markets and advancing trade. “For our friends, so that our people knew what our friends produce. Let’s take Belarusian chocolate, sweets. They are magnificent. Every time I go to Belarus, I eat chocolate the way I have never eaten it here. I am not saying that we do not have good sweets. I just want to say that our people think that only Switzerland and some other countries are strong in this, and nobody else. No, our friends from Belarus make great sweets,” said Aleksandar Vucic.

He also stressed that Serbia will never forget Belarus’ support during the bombings 20 years ago. “In 1999, President Lukashenko was one of the few who came here to offer any assistance, who was categorically against the NATO bombing of Serbia. The Serbs will never forget it. 20 years has passed and you will not find anyone here, except for the so-called liberal circles, who have anything against President Lukashenko,” the Serbian leader said.

Aleksandar Vucic said that he was Minister of Information at the time. “My office was also affected by the bombing. My mother was a journalist of the state television company, and she was working that evening. She survived by chance because the missile hit the studio which was only dozens of meters away,” the president said.

When asked about Belarus’ initiative to launch a new international negotiation process similar to the Helsinki one, Aleksandar Vucic said that such proposals are very rational. “The voice of small countries will be becoming louder. Such are the global trends for the next 20 years. It seems to me that both Serbia and Belarus are on the right track in this matter,” he said.

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