Serbia / Russia — Shoigu and Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dačić today at the Ni airport signed the documents needed to form a regional humanitarian center for emergency response.
The documents refer to the first stage of the development of a joint Serbian and Russian humanitarian center in Ni, as well as a protocol on the transfer and use of Russian reserves for the center.
The two ministers agreed that the center was extremely important, not only to Serbia and the Balkans, but the entire Europe.
Dačić remarked that he and Shoigu met at the same place in 2008 and discussed the idea to establish the center.
“We are now very close to forming and opening a joint Serbian and Russian humanitarian center,” said Dačić, who expects the center to be opened in a matter of months.
“We are in preparation stages and Russian aircraft have already helped put out fires in the past two years, during which they were stationed in Ni,” he pointed out.
He was particularly grateful for the humanitarian aid that arrived recently. It is precisely what the center will be all about, he noted.
“We will meet again in Ni, once the center is officially open. It will be a historic moment since it will be the first such center Russia has opened in Europe,” said Dačić.
Shoigu agreed with Dačić’s view regarding the two countries’ cooperation in emergencies, adding that the center was the base for further activities.
In the past 15 years, Russia has often acted in Europe during natural disasters, Shoigu stated, adding that he hoped the new center would make that more efficient.
Serbia’s Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić and Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Konuzin were also present at the airport.
Previously, RIA Novosti reported that Shoigu will on Tuesday also meet with Serbian President Boris Tadić and Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković, and that Belgrade will host the tenth regular meeting of the Russian-Serbian trade, economic and scientific cooperation committee on the same day.
Agreements on “large investment projects” in the natural gas, oil and infrastructure spheres, as well as on the supply of hi-tech equipment from Russia to Serbia and future liberalization of bilateral trade within the Russian-Serbian free trade zone agreement, are expected to be signed after the talks, a spokesman of the Russian Emergency Ministry said.