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DAILY SURVEY 04.07.2018.
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SERBIA - UKRAINE

VUCIC, POROSHENKO: BELGRADE, KIEV IN FAVOR OF COMPROMISES, RESPECTING TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY 

BELGRADE, 3 July 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on July 3 that Serbia and Ukraine shared traditionally good, friendly relations, without any issues. After a meeting with Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, Vucic said that, just like Kiev supported Serbia's territorial integrity, Belgrade supported the territorial integrity of Ukraine. "Ukraine has always supported the territorial integrity of Serbia, and for that we are extremely grateful to our Ukrainian friends. Poroshenko wished us to reach a compromise with the Kosovo Albanians, and we hope that all problems in Ukraine will be resolved peacefully. We are committed to respect for the Minsk agreements, and we believe the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is an important link in establishing peace," Vucic said at a press conference in Belgrade. He said that Serbian-Ukrainian trade had risen to USD357 million in 2017, and that Serbia's exports and imports had jumped considerably, but that the goal was to increase bilateral trade to one billion. "I believe we'll sign a free-trade agreement as well, which is not an easy task, but I'm confident we can do it with Petro Poroshenko's support," Vucic said, adding that he was sure that Ukraine would be constructive and friendly in the process of Serbia's accession to the World Trade Organization.

BRNABIC, POROSHENKO DISCUSS FUTURE COOPERATION

BELGRADE, 3 July 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic met on July 3 with Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko to discuss the development of bilateral political dialogue, economic cooperation and overall ties, the Serbian government said in a press release. Brnabic said that Serbia expected institutional economic cooperation with Ukraine to continue through the Inter-Governmental Commission for trade, economic, and science and technology cooperation. Ukraine is due to offer a date for the next session. The Serbian PM said she believed that a new free-trade agreement between the two states would be beneficial for both, underlining that over the past two years a slight increase in trade had been recorded, following a period of stagnation. In 2017, trade reached some EUR316 million, and in the first four months of the year, trade was close to EUR134 million, Brnabic specified. Speaking of the areas in which cooperation was possible, Brnabic listed agriculture, the food industry, light industry, energy and tourism, while there is a clear interest on the Ukrainian side in establishing a direct, year-round flight between Kiev and Belgrade. The prime minister thanked President Poroshenko for his country's unwavering position not to recognize Kosovo's unilaterally proclaimed independence, and voiced the expectation that Ukraine would continue to support Serbia's efforts to oppose Pristina's plans to join international organizations, like Interpol, UNESCO and others. Brnabic said Serbia believed that the Brussels dialog was the way to reach a compromise between Belgrade and Pristina, reiterating that Serbia was committed to full implementation of all agreements reached during the talks, but that it expected the other side to live up to its side of the Brussels deals. Brnabic also briefed her guest on the status of the Serbian EU accession, thanking him for his country's support to Serbia along the way. The prime minister underlined that full EU membership was Serbia's absolute foreign policy priority, her office released.

GOJKOVIC, POROSHENKO COMMITTED TO DEVELOPING COOPERATION 

BELGRADE, 3 July 2018 (Beta) - Serbian parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic stressed on July 3, at a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, that bilateral relations were good and traditionally friendly, without open issues, and that the two countries were devoted to further developing and improving cooperation on the political and economic planes, side by side with EU integration. Gojkovic said that there was considerable room for developing inter-parliamentary cooperation, and that there was an interest in cooperating at the level of parliamentary working bodies, especially committees on foreign affairs and EU integration, but also in transport, tourism, education, culture and parliamentary friendship caucuses, the Serbian parliament said in a statement. Gojkovic stressed that Serbia's parliament was ready to contribute to improving overall bilateral cooperation through ratifying the agreements that both governments sign. She said that Serbia respected the territorial integrity of Ukraine, just as Ukraine honored Serbia's. Gojkovic and Poroshenko agreed that EU integration represented a shared priority and one more foundation for cooperation between Serbia and Ukraine, and voiced readiness to exchange experiences in that process. Poroshenko hailed the strengthening of parliamentary cooperation for the purpose of bringing Serbia and Ukraine closer and, in that context, reiterated an invitation for the Serbian speaker to visit Ukraine, which she accepted.

POROSHENKO: NO ISSUES BETWEEN SERBIA, UKRAINE 
BELGRADE, 3 July 2018 (Beta) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in Belgrade, on July 3 that Serbia and Ukraine did not have any bilateral issues. At a news conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Poroshenko said that Ukraine supported solving the Kosovo problem through a compromise that would acknowledge the interests of Serbia, and said that he expected Belgrade to support Kiev on Crimea. I want to clearly state that we respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia. We did not recognize Kosovo and it is our stance that the problem of Kosovo needs to be solved through a compromise and by honoring Serbia's interests, Poroshenko said. He said that Ukraine continued to insist on its territorial integrity, which included Crimea, adding that he unconditionally counted on Serbia's support for the introduction of a peace mission. I am sure that the clear implementation of the Minsk agreement will restore peace throughout Ukraine, Poroshenko said. He said that he strongly appreciated everything that the Serbian president had invested in developing relations between the two countries and added that he felt as if he was among friends in Belgrade. For the first time Belgrade is decorated with Ukrainian and Serbian flags and we feel the hospitality of not just the president and government, but the people of Serbia as well, Poroshenko said. The Ukrainian president said that, during his meeting with Vucic, the Serbian president and he had exchanged experiences with EU integration, and that he had voiced the hope that Serbia would have negotiated all of the obstacles to entering the EU by 2025.

SERBIA, UKRAINE SIGN TWO BILATERAL AGREEMENTS 

BELGRADE, 3 July 2018 (Beta) - Ukraine and Serbia signed two agreements on July 3, in the presence of the two presidents, Petro Poroshenko and Aleksandar Vucic. The Ukrainian and Serbian foreign ministers, Pavlo Klimkin and Ivica Dacic, signed a document to amend an inter-governmental deal to lift visas for Ukraine's citizens. Klimkin and the director of the Serbian Customs Administration, Milos Tomic, signed a protocol between the Customs Administration of the Serbian Ministry of Finance, and Ukraine's National Fiscal Service, governing cooperation in the exchange of statistical data.

SERBIA

DACIC, ROTEM: RELATIONS BETWEEN SERBIA, ISRAEL VERY GOOD 

BELGRADE, 3 July 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic and Yuval Rotem, director general of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, agreed in Belgrade, on July 3 that bilateral relations between Serbia and Israel were very good, as were the traditional ties between the Serb and Jewish peoples, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia said in a statement. The statement further reads that the officials voiced mutual interest in maintaining political dialog at all levels, which would positively reflect on enhancing economic cooperation and investment -- especially in the application of new technologies in the areas of agriculture, tourism and trade, but also in cooperation in culture and agriculture. Dacic and Rotem, who is on an official visit to Serbia, exchanged views on the situation in the regions of the West Balkans and Middle East, and on other international issues. They concluded that maintaining regular bilateral and multilateral consultations was needed.

MIHAJLOVIC MEETS CHINA RAILWAY INTERNATIONAL DELEGATION ABOUT BELGRADE-BUDAPEST RAILWAY 

BELGRADE, 3 July 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic met on July 3 with a delegation from the China Railway International company to discuss the implementation of projects for modernizing and rebuilding the Serbian section of the Belgrade-Budapest railroad. China Railway International is the main contractor, alongside the CCCC, for works on the Belgrade-Stara Pazova railroad. At an upcoming summit of heads of government of China and 16 Central and East European countries in Sofia, it will sign a commercial contract for the Novi Sad-Subotica railway, the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure announced. "I am confident that the works on building a high-speed railway between Belgrade and Budapest will be done well and on schedule, as this is one of the most important projects in Serbia and needs to be an example for other projects with China in the region and in Europe," Mihajlovic said. Representatives of China Railway International told the Serbian minister that they would do everything in their power to meet the expectations of the Serbian side and build the railway according to plan, the statement said.

DJURIC, ROTEM ON BILATERAL RELATIONS, DIALOG BETWEEN BELGRADE AND PRISTINA 

BELGRADE, 3 July 2018 (Beta) - Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija director Marko Djuric met on July 3 with the director general of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yuval Rotem and discussed relations between Serbia and Israel, and the course of the Belgrade-Pristina dialog. During the talk, Djuric thanked Rotem for Israel's consistent non-recognition of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, and stressed Belgrade's clear commitment to solving all problems in the region using peaceful and political means, the Office for Kosovo and Metohija said in a statement. According to Djuric, Belgrade insists on the consistent honoring of agreements reached in the EU-brokered dialog with Pristina, above all in establishing the Community of Serb Municipalities as the key element of the first Brussels agreement. Speaking about relations between Serbia and Israel, Djuric voiced his satisfaction over the strengthening of bilateral political and economic ties, which, he said, can clearly be seen in the rising number of investments from Israel. "The Serb and Jewish peoples have an unbreakable bond through their difficult plights throughout history and share the wish to develop and advance in peace within their sovereign and democratic states," Djuric said, adding that the Kingdom of Serbia was the first state to support the Balfour Declaration 100 years ago and thereby acknowledge Jews' right to create their own state. The meeting was attended by Israeli Ambassador to Belgrade Alona Fischer-Kamm.

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