Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian Federation’s Security Council, has arrived on a two-day official visit in Belgrade. At the beginning of the visit, Patrushev laid a wreath in front of the monument dedicated to Soviet soldiers who died during the Belgrade liberation from Nazis.
Patrushev, who is the highest Russian intelligence official, will have a separate meetings with Serbian foreign minister Ivica Dacic and interior minister Nebojsa Stefanovic, Sputnik news agency reported.
Later today he will meet Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic.
Patrushev’s visit came amid arrests in Serbia and Montenegro in connection with latter’s recent elections. Former head of Serbian Gendarmerie Bratislav Dikic, who was arrested in Montenegro, allegedly planned to abduct Montenegro’s prime minister Milo Djukanovic, according to the country’s prosecution office. While Montenegrin officials claim Russian involvement, Serbian premier Aleksandar Vucic referred to the “increased intelligence activities” in Serbia from both “East and West”.
According to official sources, Patrushev and his hosts will discuss “international terrorism, migrant crisis and extremism in Kosovo and Metohija”.
“This is not Patrushev’s first visit in Belgrade, but he is little known in Serbia. He could be called the main Russian intelligence officer, head of all Russian secret services”, Sputnik reports.
From 1999 until 2008 Patrushev was the director of Federal Security Service, a post previously held by current Russian president Vladimir Putin. Since 2008 he has been at the current office.
Patrushev, a general in Russia’s Army with a PhD in Law, has received a number of national awards, including Hero of the Russian Federation./IBNA