Representatives of the EU and the US have refused to take part in the conference dubbed The World After the Coronavirus, hosted by the Belgrade Strategic Dialogue foundation, Marko Djuric, director of the Serbia’s Office for Kosovo and Metohija, informed TASS on the sidelines of the conference on Friday.
“I am proud that my city, Belgrade, is hosting such an inclusive forum to discuss political, economic and medical consequences of the coronavirus epidemic for humanity. We have become the capital of dialogue, which involves high representatives of the Russian Federation, China, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, numerous ministers and medical experts. We have invited representatives of the EU and the USA, and I am disappointed that they have not come. I hope that in the future, they will also take part in such meetings, because I think that the issue of the coronavirus and the cooperation in resolving such issues must not be considered through the prism of political competition. This is what dialogue is all about, it is about hearing different opinions instead of repeating one’s own stance over and over again, like many are perhaps used to,” Djuric stated.
Earlier, representatives of Western states in Serbia accused Russia and China of attempts to expand their influence during the pandemic. Nevertheless, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stressed the role of Russian and Chinese aid to the country in his opening speech, noting that Belgrade will continue to cooperate with Moscow and Beijing despite Western pressure.
According to the latest figures, Serbia has documented 11,300 cases of COVID-19, including 241 deaths. The lethality rate in the country reaches 2.13%.
Earlier, Serbia requested Russia’s aid in fighting the pandemic. From April 3 to May 18, Russian units disinfected medical facilities and other buildings in 40 Serbian towns and settlements.