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- A deputy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia called parliamentary cooperation an important aspect of the Belgrade–Moscow partnership
In an interview with the Parlamentskaya gazeta, Jovan Palalić, a deputy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, called developing strategic relations with Russia one of Serbia’s main goals, with parliamentary cooperation being an important part of this process.
The parliamentarian noted that due to the difficult economic and epidemiological situation in the Republic of Serbia following the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, it was decided to form a parliamentary majority and a government representing almost all political forces that were elected to the National Assembly. There is therefore virtually no opposition in the parliament, with the exception of a small parliamentary group.
According to Mr Palalić, this decision was prompted by the need to unite the entire spectrum of political parliamentary forces in order to address the serious challenges facing the country.
“It is obvious that such challenges today include the coronavirus crisis and Belgrade’s resumed negotiations on the normalization of relations with Kosovo,” said the MP.
He also reminded that by the decision of Aleksandar Vučić, leader of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party and the country’s President, the mandate of the government and parliament ends in April 2022. This is largely due to the fact that the coronavirus epidemic is forecasted to end in 2022. Therefore, there will be no need for this kind of unification of the political efforts of all parties, and Serbia will be able to return to normal political life and, in particular, hold new parliamentary elections.
Speaking about the main tasks of parliament in the coming period, Mr Palalić said that it was very important for Serbia to pass the coronavirus epidemic with minimal losses.
“Most of parliament’s activities will be aimed at effectively overcoming the epidemiological crisis. Also, it is very important for us to maintain an independent foreign policy, which has been formed in all previous years and which we are proud of. It is equally important to continue defending our interests in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as to keep the pace of economic development and welfare growth,” Mr Palalić said, adding that his personal task for the next few years will also be to work on strengthening cooperation between the Serbian and Russian parliaments.
“We have a signed agreement with the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and therefore I am confident that our cooperation will not only continue, but also increase,” he said.
The deputy expects that the appointment of the new National Assembly Speaker, Ivica Dačić, will contribute to making meetings between Russian and Serbian parliamentarians even more meaningful and will lead to intensified contacts with their Russian counterparts.
“One of Serbia’s main goals is to develop strategic relations with Russia, and parliamentary cooperation is undoubtedly an important part of this process,” concluded the parliamentarian.
As you may remember, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia has been an observer at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organization since April 2013, and National Assembly deputies have been attending the meetings of the CSTO PA standing commissions, getting acquainted with the documents discussed there and taking an active part in the meetings of the CSTO PA Council and plenary sessions of the Assembly.