Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

An official farewell for the members of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation

Minister Vulin: Our supreme commanders have renewed and once again confirmed the centuries-old friendship

Envoy of the President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, the Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin, the Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Milan Mojsilović and the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Serbia Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko attended today the official farewell held for the members of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation , who have been engaged since 3rd April in providing assistance to Serbia in the fight against Covid-19 epidemic.
Addressing the gathering, Minister Vulin pointed out that when the presidents and supreme commanders of the Serbian Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation - President Aleksandar Vučić and President Vladimir Putin - decided that the Russian Armed Forces would engage in Serbia and help us at the darkest hour, we rediscovered hope.

- We discovered hope and once again confirmed that Serbia is never alone. Our supreme commanders renewed and confirmed once again the centuries-old friendship of the two nations that never went separate ways in good, but even less often in evil. You came here at the hardest moment. At the moment when much bigger and much richer nations were losing hope, Serbia felt that it was not alone and that Russia was with it. You fought, you were hardworking, persistent, strong-willed, and professional - Minister Vulin emphasized.

According to him, when the history of our days is written, we will refer to their arrival with gratitude and fond memory.

- We were in difficult moments together; together we will rejoice in victory. And when they ask us what our view and opinion of our brotherly Russia is, of each of you, we will say that we were proud to have fought together. Thank you for coming when it was most needed and most difficult. Thank you for fighting as if you were in your cities and villages, thank you for not distinguishing our children from your own, thank you for renewing and keeping alive the ancient hope of the Serbian people that they are not alone and that Russia is with them, so distant, but yet so close and great. That is how it was and that is how it will be - said Minister Vulin.
In his address, Minister Vulin asked them, when they return to their homeland and when their children ask them where they were and where Serbia is, to show them that it is a distant, small nation, but a nation great in its courage and perseverance and so close to them.

- Tell them that you travelled far but that you never left home, because you were among your brothers, you were among the people who consider you their own. You were where you can always go back. We are grateful to you, and we will pass on the fond memory of you to future generations. Serbs and Russians have never chosen the wrong side of the world, Serbs and Russians have never been defeated. That's what our ancestors chose, that's what we have chosen. Long live the friendship of Russians and Serbs, long live the friendship and victorious spirit of our nations - said Minister Vulin.

The Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Serbia, Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, said that the members of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation had performed a very important task assigned to them by their Supreme Commander, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
- The task was performed in accordance with the best tradition of the Russian army, expertly and professionally. You worked dedicatedly, devotedly, in close and best cooperation with your Serbian colleagues. This assessment was heard by the whole world, the entire international community, because that is how your persistent work here in Serbia was assessed by our presidents in a telephone conversation - said Ambassador Botsan-Kharchenko.
He pointed out that the tradition of friendship and brotherhood between Russia and Serbia and the tradition of their joint fight is strengthening even now, when they are facing an invisible challenge.

 - You contributed to the change of the situation here in Serbia, which started to improve, but most importantly, you put another very visible, strong and lasting link in the long chain of cooperation and ties between Russia and Serbia. I express great gratitude to the Minister of Defence and the Serbian party for their hospitality - said Ambassador Botsan-Kharchenko.

The Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, Major General Petar Cvetković, thanked the members of the Russian teams on behalf of the Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Milan Mojsilović, and on his own behalf for "exceptional professionalism and effort in the fight against Covid-19" and added that “through their engagement, expertise and flawless execution of tasks  they showed that Russian soldiers and commanding officers genuinely possess the most beautiful military qualities ”.

- During their stay in our country, the Russian teams cooperated with members of the CBRN units of the Serbian Armed Forces and jointly fought against the invisible enemy. These experiences can be invaluable for both parties, and your and our members managed to synchronize in a very short time - said General Cvetković and stressed that all tasks were completed on time, that joint engagement has contributed to improving operational capabilities and capacity for joint execution of tasks in a complex environment.

Major General Mikhail Chernyshov, the leader of the Russian expert team, said that today the first joint detachment of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is leaving the "hospitable Republic of Serbia".
- Through joint efforts of the Government of Serbia, the Serbian Armed Forces and the joint detachment of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, we managed to improve the epidemiological situation caused by the coronavirus. We put a lot of effort into accomplishing that task. Thank you all for the strength and spirit that you invested in carrying out this task - said General Chernyshov.

The ceremony was also attended by the Assistant Minister for Defence Policy Milan Ranković, MSc, the Commander of the Air Force and Air Defence, Major General Duško Žarković, the Deputy Head of the Military Medical Academy, Brigadier General Dragan Dinčić, the Commander of the 204th Air Brigade, Colonel Brane Krnjajić, representatives of the diplomatic corps and the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces.
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Minister Vulin’s address
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The address of the Russian Ambassador Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko
mp4 (88,39 MB)
The address of Major General Petar Cvetković
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The address of Major General Mikhail Chernyshov
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The farewell ceremony