Why Did Medvedev Go to Serbia?

By Ivan Simic

On 20 October 2009 Russia’s President Medvedev visited Serbia for the second time in two years, just this time Medvedev came as the President. Medvedev visit came on the 65th anniversary of Belgrade liberation from German regime in which Russia played major role.

President Medvedev was greeted with the highest state and military honours and welcomed by the President of Serbia Boris Tadic at the Serbia Palace. At the press conference both leaders agreed that this visit was by far historical visit.

President of Russia told yesterday in Belgrade that Moscow in not against Serbia’s entry to the EU, and the Russia wish to develop good bilateral relations with all future members of the EU, especially forthcoming members from the East Europe.

Talking about Kosovo, President Medvedev repeated that Russia fully supports Serbia concerning Kosovo status.

“Russia will continue supporting territorial integrity and sovereignty of Republic of Serbia on the basis of international standards, however we will also support other decisions made by Serbia, like ones related to European integrations” Medvedev told at the press conference.

“Serbia will not change its position concerning Kosovo and will never recognize it as a sovereign state. Serbia will continue seeking justice on multinational level and respect of international law” President of Serbia said.

Talking at the special assembly of Serbian Parliament, President Medvedev said that Serbia entry to the EU will not have negative impact on bilateral relations between two states, rather additionally improve relations.

President Medvedev also told that Russia is ready for solid cooperation with the United States and the NATO, and greeted new US foreign policy.

President of Russia came to Serbia with the 20 member delegation, three Ministers and numerous businessmen from Russian companies and bankers.

After the official ceremonies members of the both governments signed six bilateral agreements, top of which were:

Serbia will receive one billion dollars credit from Russia to help the budget and to invest in the infrastructure. In addition to this agreement both countries will build base for the emergency situations next to the city of Nis. From this base Serbia and Russia will help countries in the region affected by fires, floods, and heavy storms, among others.

The EU did not issue any official statement concerning Medvedev’s visit to Serbia, however few questions should be asked:

Will this visit have negative or positive impact on Serbia’s new “visa free” agreement with the EU starting from 1 January 2010?

Will the EU push Serbia to set up visa regime to Russia?

Will this nearer bilateral relation between Russia and Serbia bring Serbia closer to the EU or far-off?

How will the EU and the US react on the new Russia-Serbia emergency base which will be located on the South of Serbia, close to Kosovo?

Will the EU become jealous on Russia and fight for Serbia more effectively after this historical visit?

Why did President Medvedev really go to Serbia?

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Author`s name Ivan Simic