The delegation of the State Duma of the Russian Federation to OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, in Serbia from 7 to 9 November, visited Assembly House on 7 November.
The delegation of the State Duma of the Russian Federation to OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, in Serbia from 7 to 9 November, visited Assembly House on 7 November. The Russian delegation, headed by the First Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, Lyubov Sliska, was welcomed by the head of Serbia’s delegation to OSCE PA, Suzana Grubjesic.
The visiting delegation met the Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Predrag Markovic, who expressed his pleasure at the readiness of the two national delegations to OSCE PA to sign a Memorandum on Co-operation, which would represent the continuation, at the parliamentary level, of traditionally good relations between Serbia and Russia, and added that this came ‘at a time that Serbia has been given a new Constitution that will be proclaimed at tomorrow’s ceremonial Assembly sitting’.
Ms Sliska said that Russia ‘was, is, and will be’ a reliable partner to Serbia, and congratulated Markovic on the successful conclusion of the referendum process, which saw Serbian citizens confirm the new Constitution. She reiterated that Russia would not change its position on negotiations to resolve the status of Kosovo and Metohia, adding that the talks should not be conditioned by time limits. She expressed her pleasure at the fact that the State Duma and the National Assembly were signing their first memorandum. At the same time, she proposed to Mr Markovic the formation of a Serbian-Russian parliamentary forum, to discuss issues of further co-operation between the two countries, in 2007.
Members of the Russian delegation also met the Serbian national delegation to OSCE PA, headed by Suzana Grubjesic.
The meeting reconfirmed traditionally friendly and close ties between the two nations, founded on well-developed ‘cultural and spiritual’ links and mutual interests. The delegations especially stressed good co-operation in international and regional organisations, stemming from identical or similar positions on many critical issues.
Ms Grubjesic said that Serbia highly appreciated Russia’s efforts, as a permanent UN Security Council member, for UN Security Council Resolution 1244 to be fully adhered to in negotiations on the future status of Kosovo and Metohia, and for a solution to be reached by compromise, through dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.
Ms Sliska underlined that Russia had also undergone a difficult period similar to that currently faced by Serbia, and that this was the reason for its understanding for issues encountered by Serbia, especially the situation in Kosovo. She expressed her support for an expansion of all forms of parliamentary co-operation and joint action by the two delegations to OSCE PA, especially as regards issues of interest to both countries.
After the meetings, two delegation heads signed the Memorandum on Co-operation Between Delegations of the Republic of Serbia and the Russian Federation at OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the first instrument of bilateral co-operation between the two countries.