"Serbia and Russia have been through thick and thin"

Aleksandar Vucic has stressed that in the 180 years since the establishment of Serbia-Russia diplomatic relations, "we never went against each other."

This is a rare example of any two nations in the world, the Serbian president said.

Speaking late on Wednesday during a joint press conference in Belgrade with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Vucic said that the two countries are marking 180 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, during which they had been through thick and thin, losing many people in the fight for freedom of nations.

Vucic said that he gave Lavrov a letter for President Vladimir Putin, where he "speaks very nicely about the cooperation between the two countries and future relations."

"I gave Minister Lavrov a letter for President Putin in gratitude for everything he has done to develop good bilateral relations between the two countries, in the hope to further improve them," Vucic said.

He revealed that he wrote another letter, on behalf of the citizens of Serbia - for the family of Roman Filipov, a Russian military pilot who recently died in Syria.

The president pointed out that Serbia is an independent country that makes its decisions on its own, and will act this way in the future, too, adding:

"And whether those decisions will be liked by everyone at any time? We are not here to be loved by some others, but to do things that are in the best interests of our country and our people," Vucic said.

The president said that Serbia would not change its policy towards Russia, regardless of any possible pressure - i.e., Serbia will not impose sanctions against Russia, and will not to change its policy of military neutrality.

"There is a moral obligation to respect what our nations have built during these 180 years, and even before that. Serbia will not impose sanctions on the Russian Federation....

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