17 Jan 2019 19:55

Serbs will never forget how Putin protected their lives, dignity - Vucic

BELGRADE. Jan 17 (Interfax) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for awarding him with the Order of Alexander Nevsky, noting that he is proud of being presented with this order by the man, who protected Serbia's independence and sovereignty.

"Vladimir Putin not only heightened Russia and protected its dignity, but he also defended Serbia's vitally important interests and its dignity," Vucic said at an awarding ceremony of the Russian state medal to him.

"The Serbian people will never forget what Vladimir Putin has done in 2015, when by his order Russia vetoed down the UK resolution in the UN Security Council, under which the Serbs should have been declared a genocidal people," he said.

"Putin protected the truth and justice then," the Serbian president added.

Vucic said that he does not want "to speak like other politicians, who are talking about only admiration of Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevsky."

"This award for me is an obligation to work for the future of relations between Russia and Serbia. I am proud of my motherland, which deserved this medal and which has successfully preserved its independence, territorial integrity and military neutrality in recent years. We preserved Serbia as a free state," Vucic said.

He thanked Putin for "understanding Serbia's complicated situation."

Receiving the order, Vucic said that he would like to dedicate this award to his father and his three children. He added that his family has always loved Russia as ardently as Serbia.

He thanked his children that "they went through a lot, always backed me and were nearby."