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LAVROV: Russia-Serbia Commission on Defense Industry Cooperation to meet next week

Serbia seeks to increase cooperation with Russia even as it continues attempts to join EU.

MOSCOW (Sputnik)- The Russia-Serbia intergovernmental commission on defense industry cooperation will meet next week in Russia’s Tula, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday.

“Next week, the meeting of the Russia-Serbia intergovernmental commission on defense industry cooperation is coming up in Tula,” Lavrov told a joint press conference with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Daсiс.

The Russian minister also spoke in praise of the progress made within the Serbia-Russia intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation, co-chaired by Dacic, reminding that the group will soon hold a meeting.

“Its work is quite efficient, the trade turnover is steadily growing up,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov added that the Foreign Ministries of Russia and Serbia maintained permanent contacts, cooperated closely within the United Nations, and agreed on the same stance while voting on UN Security Council resolutions.

Dacic, in turn, confirmed Belgrade’s determination to expand trade turnover with Russia.

“In the upcoming month, we will hold another meeting of the [Russia-Serbia] intergovernmental commission in Serbia. Our goal is to expand the trade turnover, Our trade turnover is more than 2 billion euros [over $2,3 billion], but we think that it can be even larger,” the Serbian minister said.

Dacic also lauded the ties between Russia and Serbia, stressing that the bilateral relations have reached the highest level over the past years.

Russia and Serbia are traditionally close partners in the diplomatic and economic fields. In 2016, Russian-Serbian turnover amounted to $1.6 billion, which is 1.32 percent more than in 2015, according to the Russian Federal Customs Service.

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