Russian President Dmitry Medvedev came to Belgrade today to honour Serbia’s Second World War past, but also to lay some foundation stones for the future.
In the first-ever Russian presidential visit he brought an entourage of 100 advisors with him to discuss a wide range of financial and economic issues. They included approval for a major one billion-euro loan to cover next year’s expected big budget deficit, and guarantee a further three billion IMF loan, although details on the figures and terms have not been released. Medvedev also addressed the Serbian parliament, and assured his hosts Russia would always support Serbian territorial integrity, and would not recognise Kosovo as an independent state. The green light was also given to the Serbia Southstream gas pipeline project, to export gas under the black sea to southern Europe via Bulgaria. Serbia’s deputy prime minister also said China was stumping up 200 million in soft loans on favourable terms to invest in upgrading Serbia’s roads.