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Serbian Foreign Minister Vows To Clarify Russian Center's Status

When the Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center was established in 2012, officials said its goals were not political. (file photo)

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic says the status of a controversial Russian center in the country's third largest city, Nis, will soon be clarified.

Dacic told Vecernje Novosti daily in an interview published on July 20 that Belgrade will soon decide whether to grant diplomatic status to staff at the Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center, reiterating that he personally supports the idea.

Dacic’s interview came three days after Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Washington. Their discussion touched on Serbia's ties with Russia.

Staff at the Russian-Serbian center have said they want the same diplomatic status that NATO staff in Serbia have.

When the center was established in 2012, Russian officials said its goals were to prevent natural disasters and technological accidents and were not political.

The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Hoyt Brian Yee said in May that the center may have ulterior motives such as influencing public opinion.

With reporting by Balkan Insight