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    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, right, during trekking in the mountains of the Republic of Tyva, during the President's vacation on August 1-3

    Serbian Defense Minister Invites Putin, Shoigu to Visit Serbia

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    Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin has invited his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu and conveyed an invitation of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend the nation's WWI and WWII commemorative events, a statement released by the defense ministry said.

    BELGRADE (Sputnik) — Vulin carried out a visit to Russia on Friday and Saturday, meeting with Shoigu and attending the closing ceremony of the International Army Games 2017.

    "I conveyed greetings of Commander in Chief and President Aleksandar Vucic and invitation for his colleague Vladimir Putin to celebrate with us the next year the 100th anniversary of the Salonica Front breakthrough, where we fought and won together. Also, on behalf of Commander in Chief and President Aleksandar Vucic, I invited Minister Shoigu to attend the anniversary of Belgrade’s liberation on October 20," Vulin said, as quoted by the defense ministry on Saturday.

    Saturday, Vulic told Sputnik he intended to invite Shoigu to visit Serbia "as soon as possible."

    The minister added he was convinced that the "mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation between Russia and Serbia," defined by a paper on strategic partnership, would further develop. Vulic also stressed that his country did not intend to join any military bloc, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

    In 2007, Serbian lawmakers adopted a resolution upholding the republic’s neutral status toward military alliances.

    In 2013, the Serbian parliament became an observer in the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly.

    An Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) between NATO and Serbia entered into force in March 2015 and concerns educational and technical cooperation, joint military drills and creation of a positive image of NATO in Serbia. In February 2016, the Serbian parliament ratified a document on diplomatic immunity for NATO representatives and logistical support for the Alliance.

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    invitation, 2017 International Army Games, Vladimir Putin, Aleksandar Vulin, Sergei Shoigu, Serbia, Russia
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