Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia
 
18.02.2020

Minister Vulin about the Visit from Minister Shoygu: Cooperation with the Russian Federation is on the highest level in history





- Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Army General Sergey Shoygu is one of the most important people in that country, along with President Vladimir Putin, and it is a man who very carefully choses the moment for his visits and travels, especially when it comes to the countries which objectively do not have that “greatness” as key ally of the Russian Federation. That confirms that we are a free and independent country which is respected by great powers - said today Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin in the morning programme of the Pink Radio TV station.
 
- Everyone says that Serbia pursues an independent policy. And that is a rare thing, because there are almost no countries in Europe that lead independent policy and that can openly say that they will not impose any sanctions against the Russian Federation. Aleksandar Vučić possesses that human courage. A lot of time has passed since Serbia led absolutely independent policy, consulting only its citizens - no one else - said Minister Vulin.
 
Speaking about the most significant messages from the yesterday’s meeting with Minister Shoygu, Minister Vulin pointed out that the cooperation had reached the “highest level in history”.
 
- We have never had more joint activities”. From 2000 to 2012, until Vučić became the minister of defence, there had been four to five joint activities per year and not a single exercise. Last year alone, there were 94 joint activities, out of which six were military exercises. This speaks in favour of the great progress we have made and it shows how comprehensive our cooperation is, and the arrival of Minister Shoygu shows that our country is appreciated and that such trend will continue in the future. The military technical agreement reached between the two presidents and supreme commanders Vučić and Putin is absolutely honoured, and everything is done in envisaged timeframes. I am particularly honoured by the fact that Minister Shoygu met with me nine times over two and a half years of my tenure. Up till now, the only minister of defence that he met nine times in the same period is the Minister of Defence of Belarus Andrey Ravkov - Minister Vulin emphasised.
 
According to him, it is an honour that he received a personal invitation from Minister Shoygu for personal invitation to attend Ministerial meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and Moscow Security Forum.
 
- That great number of our meetings is not for my sake, but for the sake of our country, the importance of our armed forces, because of our President and his relations with Vladimir Putin. That is a sign of respect for the state of Serbia. It would be the same if someone else was the minister, but that minister would have to be a free man, and a man who takes care that his armed forces are free, equipped, secure - the minister of defence said.
 
As he emphasised, in political terms, Serbia “surpasses its size”.
 
- It is not a small thing when the entire world comes to you and admits two things - Serbia pursues independent policy and Serbia has a superb economic policy. That is something that everyone absolutely appreciates when it comes to President Vučić, and everyone congratulates him on that - Minister Vulin concluded.