The visit to Serbia of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has borne its first fruit with the signing of significant loan and energy deals in Belgrade.
In the summer Serbia asked Russia for a billion-euro loan to help balance the budget and upgrade road and rail systems. The Bank of Moscow is giving a 67-million euro loan to the state oil company, and a protocol establishing the Serbia Southstream project has been approved, which will create a new pipeline from Russia to the west. The first ever offical visit by a Russian president is front-page news in the Serbian press, which says the visit is likely to be focused on economic rather than political affairs. Thousands of police are ensuring everything goes to plan. Medvedev will adress parliament and attend a World War Two commemoration of the liberation of Belgrade before leaving.