Russia says Serbian Ties not Threatened by Video ‘Incident’

The Kremlin said on Thursday it was confident nothing could hurt Russia's "special partnership" with Serbia after a video surfaced appearing to show a Russian diplomat giving money to an unidentified Serbian official.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who has sought to strengthen ties with Serbia's fellow Orthodox Christian ally Russia while also pursuing membership of the European Union, met on Thursday morning with Russia's envoy to Belgrade, Alexander Bocan Harchenko.

Vucic's press office said the president would provide more information later in the day, when he will also chair a session of the Council for National Security.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said it was still unclear what actually occurred but that there was no reason to believe it would harm relations between Moscow and its closest ally in the Balkans.

"We do not know what kind of an incident that was, we still need to figure it out," Peskov was quoted as saying by the Russian Tass agency.

"We are confident that relations between Russia and Serbia are of such special partnership, fraternal and allied nature, that nothing can affect them," he said.

The video, posted on YouTube, allegedly shows a Russian diplomat identified as Georgiy Kleban giving money to an unidentified Serbian official in Belgrade.

The Serbian Security Agency confirmed that the video is genuine, while Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Wednesday that the Military Security Agency would examine it.

The scandal erupted just as Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic was an official visit to Moscow to sign two security agreements with Russian officials. Stefanovic stressed Serbia's gratitude to Moscow for its support for Belgrade's stance on...

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