Valentina Matvienko, Chairperson of the Council of the Federation, holds a meeting with Maja Gojković, President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia

The meeting was held as part of the Chairperson of the Council of the Federation official visit to Serbia/

Valentina Matvienko, Chairperson of the Council of the Federation, held a meeting with Maja Gojković, President of the National Assembly of Serbia.

The parties discussed issues on the bilateral agenda, the situation in the region, developing parliamentary contacts and boosting inter-regional ties.

“We have a very high opinion of the vibrant political dialogue conducted with the Republic of Serbia at all levels. The Presidents, heads of government and ministers of foreign affairs hold regular meetings. There are positive dynamics in trade and economic cooperation, trade turnover between our countries is growing. Our relations have a tremendous potential„, Matvienko said. She also highly appraised the development of humanitarian ties.

Valentina Matvienko reminded her audience that, next year, the two countries would be celebrating the 180th anniversary of diplomatic relations being established between them. “Cooperation between our countries is sincere and friendly and it is developing in many areas.„

Inter-parliamentary ties and bilateral collaboration, as well as cooperation at international parliamentary venues, are also developing successfully, Matvienko said. She also noted the collaboration between the two countries’ MPs at the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and the Organization for Black Sea Economic Cooperation, and active work by the National Assembly’s deputies at the 137th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly. The Chairman of the Federation Council called for intensifying Russia-Serbia inter-parliamentary ties.

In turn, Maja Gojković noted that, owing to the Cooperation Agreement signed between the two countries’ parliaments in 2015, the parties had succeeded in setting up permanent inter-parliamentary collaboration. “The Presidents of Russia and Serbia signed the Declaration on Strategic Partnership; relations are developing in all cooperation areas.„ Gojković thanked Russia for supporting Belgrade on the international stage and on the subject of Kosovo, among other things.

Valentina Matvienko expressed her vigorous opposition to “double standards„ in international politics. She said that Russia had a high opinion of Serbia’s open politics geared toward cooperation with Russia and its rejection of sanctions against Russia. “In times of hardship, our countries have always helped each other; we have been ready to back each other up.„

The Chairperson of the Council of the Federation informed Serbia about talks with the PACE leaders, Russia’s stance on unacceptability of sanctions and restrictions imposed on parliamentary delegations and on any MPs who continue a dialogue under any circumstances.

“Sanctions are never a solution; they only create problems. Russia should have its voting rights restored to ensure an honest and open discussion of all issues„, Maja Gojković said.

A delegation of the Council of the Federation headed by its Chairperson Valentina Matvienko is in the Republic of Serbia on an official visit.

The visit includes talks with leaders of the Republic of Serbia and an address by Valentina Matvienko to the Plenary Session of the National Assembly. She will also talk to Serbian MPs, journalists and members of non-governmental organizations and will lay wreaths at the Liberators of Belgrade Memorial and the Monument to Soviet War Veterans.

The Council of the Federation delegation also includes Ilyas Umakhanov, Deputy Chairperson of the Council of the Federation, Konstantin Kosachev, Chairperson of the Council of the Federation Committee on Foreign Affairs, Valery Ryazansky, Chairman of the Council of the Federation Committee on Social Policy, Head of the Council of the Federation Group on Cooperation with the National Assembly of Serbia, Alexander Babakov, and Deputy Chairperson of the Council of the Federation Committee on Foreign Affairs.