Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic voiced satisfaction on Friday with the gathering in front of the St Sava Temple during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Belgrade, claiming that more than 100,000 people had gathered outside the church.
He told a news conference at the Presidency building that the people had come to see Putin and added that he could never bring so many people together. “I was not the topic. Those people did not come for me but only to see Putin,” Vucic said.
He also voiced satisfaction that the gathering was free of incidents. “When you have 100,000 people and not a single window is broken, I think that is almost impossible,” he said. The president said the opposition could not bring together even 5,000 “with all the abuse of the media and lies”.
Vucic said that the Russian president’s protocol is very strict with no public speeches which is why he only said a few words to the crowd in front of the St Sava Temple. “I asked him to appear before the people because they were there for him and just say two words and the man did that to me and those people,” he said.
Vucic said that Putin’s fourth visit to Serbia was very important to the national economy. “The crucial thing is the gas agreement,” he said, adding that the 402 kilometre central gas pipeline through Serbia, from the Bulgarian to the Hungarian border, will be finished by the end of 2019. He said that the Banatski Dvor gas storage facility will be expanded from its capacity of 450 million cubic metres to 750 million. Vucic said both the population and industry need greater gas imports from the current 2.15 billion cubic metres to 3.5 million in a few year.