Dimitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, said on Thursday he was convinced nothing could imperil the “partner and brotherly relations” between his country and Serbia, the Reuters news agency reported.
His words followed the spy affair involving a Russian intelligence officer that broke out on Wednesday.
They coincided with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic, who ordered the countries' civilian and military intelligence agencies to investigate the affair, meeting with the Russian ambassador to Serbia on Thursday.
Vucic ordered the countries civilian and military intelligence agencies to investigate the case in which a Russian spy was seen in a video as handing out money to allegedly Serbia’s spy, and called a meeting of the National Security Council also on Thursday.
In Moscow, where Serbia’s Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic is on a two-day visit, Peskov said “the relations with Serbia are of a partner and brotherly character. Nothing can have any effect on that.
Later on Thursday, Maria Zaharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said the video showing a Russian spy allegedly handing a plastic bag to Serbia's agent was a provocation ahead of important top officials meetings, the Beta news agency reported.
Asked to comment on Serbia's secret service's confirmation that a man in the video was Georgy Kleban, former assistant to the Russian military attaché in Belgrade, and that Serbia's Government described the situation as serious, Zaharova laughed and asked whether the second man identity was known.
"That's the use of technology with certain goals. We are ahead of important meetings at the high level and often before such contacts some material appears like bombshells," Zaharova told a news conference.
She added she did not understand Serbia's Government statement about the grave situation.
"What is that about? Can you explain to me what the serious situation means?," Zaharova asked, avoiding the question if that affected Russia's relations Serbia.
"You want political statements? I have no information, and that's not my task. My job is to comment on the facts… This is a provocation and those in charge should deal with that video, "Zaharova added.