23 October 2018 The National Assembly Speaker addresses the Russian State Duma

23 October 2018 The National Assembly Speaker addresses the Russian State Duma

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Gojkovic Addresses Russian State Duma

The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic addressed the members of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation saying that the two nations have always been on the same side of history, fighting for freedom, independence and national identity and can today proudly say that their relations have withstood the test of time, common tragedies and victories.

“This year marks a number of important dates, 180 years of diplomatic relations, 100 years since the end of World War One, victory over fascism and many, many more”, said Gojkovic adding that the Serbian people would hardly have survived and achieved its national and state goals had it not in crucial moments been supported by the great and brotherly Russian people.

Gojkovic thanked Russia for its principled and consistent support of Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty in Kosovo-Metohija stressing that this is the hardest and biggest problem for the Serbian people and state, one of global consequence which demands perseverance, wisdom and strength to, in the face of brutal violence over innocent and powerless victims, memorials and churches, harsh unilateralism, constant provocation and superficiality and cynicism of many, find a just and sustainable solution.

The Assembly Speaker said that Serbia is investing all of its power into finding that solution, keeping peace and security, an effort in which the Russian people and state’s present and future support is invaluable, adding that Russia understands better than anyone else what Serbia is up against.

Gojkovic said that it is a well-known fact that full EU membership is Serbia’s foreign policy priority and the country is making sure that the process also complies with its wish to advance cooperation with its partners and friends at the international, regional and global scene.

The Serbian Assembly Speaker stressed that Serbia, with its complex geo-political and unstable environment, respecting the freedom-loving sprit, will and dignity of its citizens, adopted a decision on military neutrality at the National Assembly.

“Serbia has no wish or aspirations to become a NATO member state. Our history with the alliance is fraught with too many difficulties to even consider it. At the same time, we remain open, which the policy of neutrality allows, to active cooperation with all the partners and security factors in the region and beyond to preserve peace and stability”, said Gojkovic.

Gojkovic said that the National Assembly, in a principled and consistent manner, in line with the state policy, strives for free and equal cooperation on the international scene, without sanctions, adding that Serbia would under no circumstances impose any sanctions against the brotherly Russian Federation and its people, and that the Serbian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe would do all in its power, in a principled and consistent manner, to make sure that full rights be returned to the Russian delegation in line with international law.

Gojkovic stressed that the two countries owe a lot for their relations to the President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic and the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, whose vision, wisdom and exceptional courage and diligence managed to reverse many a negative trend and channel it for the good of the Serbian and Russian state and their peoples.

Gojkovic said that the cooperation with the State Duma and the Federation Council has reached the very pinnacle, as evidenced by the establishment of the Parliamentary Cooperation Commission as a unique type of parliamentary cooperation.

Gojkovic highlighted the importance of economic cooperation and praised the duty-free trade, increased number of companies exporting into the Russian Federation, expanded product structure, further liberalization of trade and reminded the attending that the volume of trade had almost doubled compared to the first eight months of last year.

Speaking of the historical ties between the Serbian andRussian people, Gojkovic reminded the attending that a statue of Tsar Nikolai II Romanov was erected next to the National Assembly in Belgrade on the centenary of the beginning of the Great War, stressing that Serbia would never forget what Russia suffered as it made sure Serbia would not stand alone against the assault of the Austrian Empire and its allies.

Gojkovic said that the Serbian people soon had the chance to return the favour by providing asylum to about seventy thousand Russians, many of whom indebted the culture, education and science of their new home country by giving it 12 members of the Serbian Academy of Sciences.

The Assembly Speaker said that the two nations also share many other tragic historical events, spiritual and cultural ties, and many a grand clerical and secular thinker had contributed to the wealth of cultural relations.

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