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Kuleba visits Serbia for first time since beginning of full-scale war

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 13, 2024 5:41 PM 1 min read
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba with his Serbian counterpart Marko Djuric in Belgrade, Serbia, on May 13, 2024. (Dmytro Kuleba/X)
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Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba traveled to Serbia on May 13 in his first trip to the country since the beginning of the full-scale war. His visit followed the arrival of First Lady Olena Zelenska in Belgrade the day prior.

Serbia has longstanding ties with Russia and has refrained from international attempts to sanction or otherwise isolate the country. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has also called Ukraine a "friendly country" and said in January 2023 that Crimea and Donbas are sovereign Ukrainian territories.

Kuleba met with Vucic, Prime Minister Milos Vucevic, and Serbian Foreign Minister Marko Djuric.

The talks centered around ways to increase bilateral cooperation between the two countries, said Kuleba. He also thanked Serbia for providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Vucevic said, "Serbia is committed to respecting international law and the territorial integrity of United Nations member states, including Ukraine," but he declined to pledge to join sanctions against Russia.

Kuleba's meetings followed Zelenska's tour of the old city and a joint press conference with her Serbian counterpart, Tamara Vucic.

Zelenska was also present at signing documents entailing plans for increased cooperation between Serbian and Ukrainian universities.

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