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Serbian minister defends deal with Russia amid criticism

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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia’s foreign minister has sought to play down the importance of an agreement with Russia, after the Balkan state that is seeking European Union membership faced criticism for signing it. Nikola Selakovic on Sunday said the deal on foreign policy consultations he signed with Russia’s Sergey Lavrov was “technical” and similar documents have been signed regularly since 1996. The news of the deal triggered harsh criticism from the pro-EU opposition at home and some EU politicians. Serbia officially is a candidate for European Union membership, but the government maintains good relations with Russia and has refused to join EU sanctions against Moscow.

Article Topic Follows: AP National News

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