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AstraZeneca vaccines arrive to Serbia

President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic welcomed a plane at the "Nikola Tesla" airport, which delivered to Serbia the vaccines made by "AstraZeneca" company. President Vucic pointed out that the 150,000 doses that arrived this morning meant that 150,000 more persons would be vaccinated in Serbia, and added that Serbia, along with the UAE, became the only country in the world that had more than three vaccine types available.

"People's health is the most precious of all and what we should invest in the most. Revaccination is due in 12 weeks, and we have a contract for new doses, so this means that 150,000 more persons will be vaccinated in Serbia. I am proud of Serbia, of the responsibility and seriousness we have shown in the fight for the health of our citizens, for the preservation of life and the progress of the economy in our country", President Vucic said.

The President expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson, as well as to the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.

"This took a lot of effort on the part of our country, but also on the part of our friends from the United Kingdom and India. I pleaded with Boris Johnson and some others in the UK Government. I would also like to thank both the Indian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. I thank them for their willingness to hear us out, for the attention they paid to one small Serbia, and for the vaccines arriving in Serbia first", President Vucic said, adding that the price at which the vaccines were procured was absolutely the most favorable.

President Vucic said that Serbia, along with the United Arab Emirates, became the third country to have more than three vaccine types at its disposal, and pointed out that the "AstraZeneca" vaccines would be available to citizens from tomorrow.

UK Ambassador to Serbia Sian MacLeod said that she was proud that the "AstraZeneca" vaccine was developed at the University of Oxford, and that young scientists from Serbia also participated in its development.

"I am glad that the vaccine will be available around the world, which gives us hope in the fight against the coronavirus", the Ambassador said.

With today's delivery Serbia became one of the few countries in the world where citizens will be able to choose among four different vaccines against coronavirus - namely, the U.S.-German "Pfizer-BioNTech", Russian "Sputnik V", Chinese "Sinopharm" and the British-Swedish "AstraZeneca".

Belgrade,

21 February 2021

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India important decades-old partner of Serbia

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic talked today with Ambassador of the Republic of India Subrata Bhattacharjee about bilateral relations between the two countries, the current epidemiological situation and the possibilities of importing vaccines produced and developed in this country.

Brnabic pointed out that India is a great friend and an important partner with a decades-long tradition of good mutual relations and cooperation.

The Prime Minister congratulated India on the successes in the development of vaccines so far and expressed confidence that those developed in this country will make a great contribution to overcoming the crisis caused by the pandemic and achieving the collective immunity of citizens.

The Ambassador pointed out that about 60% of vaccines intended for the world market will be produced in India, and that the export of the vaccine against the COVID-19 virus is planned soon.

Friendly countries, including Serbia, will also, if there is interest, be able to get this type of vaccine, Bhattacharjee specified.

The Prime Minister stated that Serbia wants to import as many vaccines from various manufacturers as possible, in order to provide its citizens with the best possible protection, and that there is interest in cooperation in this area with India.

The officials also discussed the continuation of the work of the Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation, as well as the economic cooperation of our countries.

Serbia is committed to stronger cooperation, primarily in the field of agriculture, since this branch of the economy plays an important role in our country.

Belgrade, 13 January 2021


 
 
Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb and Ljubljana elected as the new Patriarch of Serbia

18 February 2021

 

The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church elected His Eminence Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana, PhD, as the new Serbian Patriarch, in its convocation in Memorial Cathedral of Saint Sava in Belgrade on 18 February 2021.

Immediately after the election a thanksgiving service was officiated and Many Years was chanted to the Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch Porfirije. Bells at Saint Sava Cathedral in the Vracar district of Belgrade rang a few minutes before 4:00 pm indicating that the 46th Patriarch of Serbia was elected.

Newly-elected Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch Porfirije (Peric) was born on 22 July 1961 in Becej, to father Radivoje and Mother Radojka. He was baptized as Prvoslav. He finished primary school in Curug, and the “Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj” Grammar School in Novi Sad. He was ordained a monk according to the rite of small schime by his spiritual father, then hieromonk Dr. Irinej (Bulovic), at Decani Monastery on Sunday of St. Thomas in 1985.

He graduated from the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Belgrade in 1986, when the then Bishop of Raska-Prizren Diocese, future Serbian Patriarch Pavle of blessed memory, ordained him a hierodeacon at the monastery of Holy Trinity in Musutiste.

He attended postgraduate studies in Athens from 1986 until 1990. That year, upon the blessing of Bishop Dr. Irinej of Backa, he joined the monastery of Holy Archangels in Kovilj, where he was ordained as hieromonk and became its abbot.

Many young monks and novices came to the monastery following him. These were the years when the Kovilj Monastery became a spiritual center for many young people: intellectuals, artists, popular actors and rock musicians, especially from Novi Sad and Belgrade. Since then abbot Porfirije has particularly dealt with drug-addicted patients. In 2005, he formed for this purpose a therapeutic community called “The Land of the Living”, which is recognized as the most successful drug-addiction therapy project and, under the leadership of Bishop Porfirije, it has more than a hundred residents in camps throughout Serbia today.

During the ordinary meeting of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade on 14 May 1999 he was elected as Bishop of Jegar, Vicar of the Diocese of Backa.

He defended his PhD thesis Possibility of knowability of God in St. Paul’s understanding according to the interpretation of Saint John Chrysostom at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Athens in 2004.

He became a lecturer at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology - Department of Pastoral Psychology - succeeding famous psychiatrist, academician Dr. Vladeta Jerotic. His lectures have been attended not only by students of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology, but other Belgrade faculties as well.

Together with a group of experts: psychologists, doctors, criminologists, sociologists, Bishop Porfirije founded a civic association that deals with the resocialization of victims of destructive religious sects and cults.

Bishop Porfirije has not been just president of the Steering Board for a decade, but a real spiritus movens of the Humanitarian Fund “Privrednik”, which has provided scholarships for a great number of gifted, but poor pupils and students, regardless of their nationality or religious affiliation.

In 2005, the National Assembly elected him as representative of all Churches and religious communities, to be a member of the Council of the Republic Broadcasting Agency, and in 2008 the RBA elected him its president. As President of the Council of the Republic Broadcasting Agency, Bishop Porfirije supported the long-term interests of society and citizens, unaffected by political influences.

Since then, church radio stations have been heard in the broadcasting spectrum of Serbia. He has made a key contribution to launching of a series of radio and television shows dealing with religious topics.

In 2010, The Holy Assembly of Bishops entrusted him to establish military chaplaincy in the Serbian Armed Forces. The fruits of his labour in that field include not only the suitable legal regulations, but also the selection of military chaplains, the organization and equipping of churches at barracks and performance of the first religious services.

His expert theological works Bishop Porfirije published in magazines both in Serbia and abroad. He participated in a large number of scientific conferences and symposia across the globe.

Bishop Porfirije, as one of the most prominent contemporary Serbian clergymen and intellectuals, has an extremely wide circle of friends, not only in the Homeland, and he fosters personal friendship and close cooperation with priests and representatives of other Churches and religious communities.

He speaks Greek, English, German and uses the Russian language, while his style of communication is always adapted to his interlocutors.

He was enthroned as the Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana on 13 July 2014 in the Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord in Zagreb. The solemn Hierarchal Liturgy was served by Serbian Patriarch Irinej, accompanied by a large number of archbishops of the Serbian Church and other sister Churches, as well as priests and monks, and pious people.

 

Source: SPC/Serbian Orthodox Church

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Telegram of condolences to the External Affairs Minister of India

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Nikola Selakovic sent a condolence message to the External Affairs Minister of the Republic of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, in the wake of the severe floods, caused by a Himalayan glacier collapse, which hit Uttarakhand taking many human lives and inflicting huge material damage.

"May I kindly ask you, Excellency, to convey the expressions of our most sincere condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in this natural disaster, and wishes for a speedy recovery to those injured", reads the telegram of condolences addressed by the Serbian Foreign Minister.

Minister Selakovic conveyed that the Republic of Serbia, at this difficult hour, stood beside the friendly people of the Republic of India.


Belgrade,
9 February 2021

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Minister Selakovic speaks for Politika: The year of rejuvenation of Serbian diplomacy

26 January 2021

Serbia's foreign policy positions are naturally being adjusted to the new developments at the international level, but our foreign policy priorities have not changed in a long time. Our top and most important interest is to preserve good-neighbourly relations and stability and peace in the region and, in the same context, to find a peaceful and just solution to the problems in Kosovo and Metohija, Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said in an interview with Politika daily.

Another lasting interest of ours is full membership of the European Union, because this is the type of society we strive for. At the bilateral level, our goal is to strengthen ties with traditional friends, the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China, but also to build new partner relations with the United States. One of the most important tasks of our foreign policy is to improve the position and protect the rights and identity of our people in the region, as well as to provide various types of support to Serbs in the diaspora. All these are very important and more often than not complementary goals, Nikola Selakovic pointed out.

What kind of relations do you expect Serbia to have with the new U.S. administration?

It is too early to speculate about this in public. The new presidential administration in Washington is currently preoccupied with internal issues and this will be the case for some time. There are people in the team of President Joseph Biden who have dealt with our region, and it is likely that the Balkans and Serbia will be the focus of the U.S. foreign policy at some point. I will remind you that President Vucic and President Biden not so long ago had very substantive talks in Belgrade, after which our President stated that he had the opportunity to talk to someone extremely well acquainted with the situation in this part of the world and an extraordinarily prepared interlocutor. Taking their personal relationship into account, but also the importance of enhancing the ties between Serbia and the United States, we have reason to expect that a meeting between the two presidents will be organized in the foreseeable future. I am sure that the nature and dynamics of the relations between Serbia and the United States will be influenced by the fact that Ambassador Marko Djuric now represents us in Washington, whose presence at President Biden's inauguration ceremony is an important signal and, I believe, a harbinger of positive developments in bilateral relations between our two countries.

How would you describe our country's relations with Moscow, Brussels and Beijing?

Russia is our traditional friend and that friendship goes beyond merely political ties. These are deep spiritual, cultural and civilizational bonds, and it is only natural that we have a mutual interest in improving those ties, even though they are at a very high level. We have a relationship with the People's Republic of China which is, in addition to the sincere iron-clad friendship between our peoples and high political representatives, based on deep trust and mutual support. Full membership of the European Union is Serbia's strategic orientation that all our friends are aware of, but our country does not forget its friendships, but strengthens and promotes them instead, and approaches all with honesty and no ulterior motives. In this context, we do not seek any preferential treatment, but only the right to freely and independently make decisions about our future and relations with all who respect us.

Could Serbia pursue a different foreign policy than the one it is pursuing at the moment?

It is always possible to have a different policy, just look at the foreign policy of Serbia ten, twenty or thirty years ago, examine the results at that time and you will realize how irretrievably expensive that policy turned out to be. Whether a policy is right, at either foreign or domestic level, is measured through its results and effect on the lives of citizens and the fate of the entire state.

Our foreign policy priorities are not being defined on a whim, but are instead the result of a serious and deep examination of our complex position and strategic thinking about ways to improve it. Today, Serbia has a better international reputation and credibility than two decades ago, and the main reason for that is that our results have shown how serious and responsible we are as a country. That kind of credibility is not achieved by trickery, but only by hard and well-thought-out work on oneself. And I need to emphasize on this occasion as well that the main inspiration for such an attitude towards politics, the state and its future comes from none other than President Aleksandar Vucic. As Minister of Foreign Affairs, I have the opportunity on a daily basis to see the level of appreciation and respect President Vucic enjoys beyond the borders of our country.

When can we expect the vacant posts of Serbian ambassadors and consuls across the globe to be filled?

That is one of the main tasks for 2021. This will be a year of reinvigoration and I believe also rejuvenation of Serbian diplomacy. Our country, given its size, has a fairly extensive diplomatic network, which provides it with great opportunities for deepening political and economic relations with countries in all parts of the world. But we need more fresh and energetic staff, people who will be the most honourable representatives of a modern and dynamic Serbia. There are such people in Serbia, and we do need a serious rejuvenation, in order to avoid wide generation gaps in our personnel, and to lay the foundations of a modern career diplomacy.

How would you describe your relationship with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic?

President Vucic and I are, in addition to having close and friendly relations, by virtue of the work we do and our constitutional competencies, the closest collaborators in the realization of Serbia's foreign policy goals. This allows me to talk to him often, and on many occasions learn a lot of new and important things. President Vucic is a man who inspires people around him with his strategic and visionary approach to politics, and I am proud to have had the opportunity to be part of his closest team of associates over the years, and to have had him as a kind of political mentor. In any case, his vision of Serbia as a modern, progressive and prosperous state, which independently and on its own will decides on its destiny, is my wish as well and key motivation for political engagement. For only such Serbia is a country that its own citizens, as well as Serbs beyond our borders, can confidently rely on, while also being an inspiration to the entire region.

Source: Politika


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