Russian ambassador: Mayor Bandic was an extraordinary person

NEWS 01.03.2021 12:46
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Source: N1

Milan Bandic was an extraordinary person and a great friend of Russia, the country's ambassador to Croatia, Andrey Nesterenko, said on Monday, adding that he supports the idea of his predecessor that a square in the Croatian capital should be named after the longtime Zagreb Mayor who passed away suddenly on Sunday.

“An extraordinary person is gone, a great friend of our country, the Russian Federation,” Nesterenko said after signing a condolence book in City Hall. “Mr Bandic strongly contributed to the promotion of bilateral relations between our two countries,” he added.

Nesterenko, who took office late last year, thanked Bandic for helping children from the Russian town of Beslan, following a 2004 terrorist attack that killed 334 civilians, including 186 children. Children from the Russian province of North Ossetia-Alania have for years spent their summer holidays in Croatia, organised by the City of Zagreb.

Nesterenko also praised the deceased mayor for the successful organisation of performances by Russian artists, saying it was not by chance that Russian President Vladimir Putin had presented Bandic with the Order of Friendship for his contribution to bilateral relations.

“Memories of Mr Bandic will always be in our hearts,” the Russian ambassador said, adding that he supported the idea of his predecessor, Anvar Azimov, that a Zagreb square should be named after Bandic.

“Should anything depend on me in that regard, I am willing to take the necessary steps,” he said.

In December 2020, Bandic was present at the opening of the new Russian Embassy in Zagreb, which was also attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. He said then that Lavrov had invited him to visit North Ossetia, a region in the Caucasus of which Bandic was an honorary citizen.

“We are two branches of the same tree. We are one of the 27 EU capitals, but we must never forget the good cooperation with our Russian friends. Long live the friendship between the Croatian and Russian people!” Bandic had said then.

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