Russian foreign minister to visit Serbia next Monday

Sergei Lavrov plans to visit Serbia on June 6-7, says Russian Foreign Ministry.

Russian foreign minister to visit Serbia next Monday

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would visit Serbia on June 6 and 7 for official talks, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Friday.

At a press briefing, Maria Zakharova said that Lavrov would also talk to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, the Speaker of the National Assembly, and the Serbian Patriarch.

Zakharova stated that the topics of discussion are expected to be bilateral political and economic cooperation, the situation in the Balkan region, as well as current international issues.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is expected to discuss gas supply to Serbia.

Matters pertaining to the price and quantity of gas, and the security of its supplies are expected to be discussed during the visit next week.

This will be the first visit of a high-ranking Russian official to Serbia since the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis, and it comes at a time when the European Union is preparing new series of sanctions.

Last Sunday, the Serbian leader also announced a new three-year gas supply contract with his Russia.

The deal is likely to be signed during Lavrov's visit to Belgrade.

Belgrade's current 10-year gas supply contract with Gazprom expires on Tuesday.

Serbia, which is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas and oil, has come under criticism for declaring neutrality in Russia's war on Ukraine and refusing to impose sanctions on Moscow.

Facing incessant pressure from the West to impose sanctions on Moscow, the Serbian president has urged the international community to recognize Belgrade's concerns.

Earlier, Vucic announced that Serbia would receive a loan from the US for various energy projects.

Hüseyin Demir