MOSCOW, October 19 (RIA Novosti) - The implementation of joint Russian-Serbian energy projects is to be discussed among other issues in Belgrade, the Russian president said prior to his visit on Tuesday to Serbia's capital.
"During the upcoming talks, we expect to discuss in detail the plans to implement large-scale joint projects, including in the energy industry, as well as in the spheres of transport, cultural, humanitarian, scientific and technological cooperation," Dmitry Medvedev told a Serbian newspaper.
Last week, Russian energy giant Gazprom and Serbia's state gas company initialed an agreement to set up a joint venture to develop a Serbian underground gas depot. The agreement was part of a bilateral governmental deal on cooperation in the oil and gas sector sealed between the two countries in 2008.
"In other words, serious work is ahead to strengthen, through joint efforts, the foundation of our cooperation as well as to contribute to a fuller uncovering of its rich potential for the long term," Medvedev told Vecernje Novosti.
Medvedev also said Russian-Serbian relations are based on long-lasting traditions, adding that he hopes "further progress" will be made in developing interstate cooperation and that "the brotherly ties between the nations" will strengthen.
Serbian President Boris Tadic was quoted by national media on Saturday as saying Medvedev's visit to Belgrade will help deepen Russian-Serbian ties. Moscow supports Belgrade's view that Kosovo, which unilaterally declared its independence in February 2008, is an indivisible part of Serbia.
Medvedev's trip to Serbia, during which he will attend celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade from Nazi forces, will be the first visit to the country by a Russian head of state since Vladimir Putin visited in 2001.