15 May 2020 12:43

Vucic thanks Putin for Russian help to coronavirus-stricken Serbia - Kremlin

MOSCOW. May 15 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken on the phone with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic at Serbia's initiative, the Kremlin press service said in a statement.

"The heads of state exchanged warm greetings on the 75th anniversary of the Victory over Nazism noting the special significance of this anniversary for the peoples of Russia and Serbia who hold sacred the military brotherhood of the war years," the statement said.

"While discussing the issues of combating the coronavirus pandemic, Aleksandar Vucic, on behalf of all citizens of the Republic, expressed sincere appreciation for the assistance rendered by the joint detachment of the Russian Defense Ministry, which will be completing its humanitarian mission shortly. The importance of continuing coordination between the respective agencies of the two countries' efforts in fighting the spread of the virus was stressed," it said.

"The presidents expressed a mutual commitment to step up the Russian-Serbian strategic partnership and multifaceted cooperation, including joint projects in energy, transport and technology," the statement said.

"It was agreed to further maintain a regular dialogue," the Kremlin press service said.

According to the statement posted on the Serbian president's website, "President Vucic briefed President Putin on all regional events ranging from the situation in Kosovo and Metohija to persecution of the clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro."

The presidents expressed the need for soonest continuation of interior decoration of the Church of Saint Sava in Belgrade, which is being restored together with Russia.

The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier that a Russian combined taskforce posted to Serbia had disinfected 181 sites in 38 cities, including over 371 buildings and facilities with a total floor space exceeding 1.68 million square meters, and 69 hard-surface roads with a total area of around 488,000 square meters. Military doctors examined and participated in the treatment of over 800 Covid-19 patients.