“Forcing Serbia to make an artificial choice between the West and Russia is impermissible, says Russian Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko.

Matviyenko said this during a special session of the Serbian National Assembly in Belgrade that she addressed on Monday, adding that there was ‘no force in the world that could destroy the friendship and cooperation between Russia and Serbia.’
The chair of Russia’s upper house of parliament also said that Serbia can continue to count on her country’s consistent support when it comes to Kosovo and Metohija.

She said the Kosovo issue was by and large provoked by an outside aggression, and by the relentless meddling of NATO countries into the internal affairs of then Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), and remarked that through its centuries-long history, Serbia several time became the object of crude outside pressure.

“In Russia, we will never forget those tragic events for your country, the aggression of the West in the 1990s, the result of which was a forcible trearing apart of a modern European country and a forcible change inside European borders,” said Matviyenko, reiterating Moscow’s support for Serbia’s territorial integrity regarding Kosovo, stressing that “the tragic event of NATO’s (1999) aggression rendered the fragmentation of a European country acceptable.”

“73 years ago, together we liberated Belgrade. Today, we consistently back Belgrade regarding Kosovo. I assure you that Serbia can continue to count on the support of Russia and the Russian people,” Matviyenko told members of the Serbian National Assembly.

She said that Russia highly appreciates Serbia’s firm position, despite pressure, against introducing “illegal sanctions against Russia, aimed at suppressing Russia’s economic growth, and its growing influence in the world.” (B92)