The mayor of Serbian central town of Kragujevac has signed a landmark contract with ‘Russia’s Google’, Yandex, which will assist its move into the Serbian market.
Mayor of Kragujevac Radomir Nikolic and Yandex representative Andrej Strelkov on Tuesday announced that Russia’s biggest IT company had landed its first contract in Serbia.
The official website of the city of Kragujevac said Yandex will make applications and maps for the local authorities.
“The sector dealing with geolocation services will launch several Yandex taxi applications, parking, city transport and navigation services in Kragujevac,” it explained.
It added that citizens of Kragujevac and tourists will be able to check the apps to locate public buses and their speed. Yandex will also make a map of Kragujevac.
Yandex, popularly known as the “Russian Google”, specialises in IT services such as search engines, browsers, emails, maps and videos.
According to the Economist from last September, Yandex doubled down on its home market, which accounts for 92 per cent of its revenues.
“We’re the Silicon Valley of Russia,” Mikhail Parakhin, Yandex’s chief technology officer, told the UK magazine.
Mayor Nikolic said Yandex chose his city because “it is ideal for this type of project …
it is big enough to have everything, but also small enough for the project to be easily implemented”.
Nikolic is the son of the former Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, whose mandate expired last year.
Tomislav Nikolic was appointed head of the Serbian government’s council for cooperation with Russia and China in June 2017. He is known for his pro-Russian stance.
“We expect much from this cooperation,” the Kragujevac Mayor said, according to the report.
Details about the value of the deal, however, have not been made public.
Russia and Serbia historically have warm relations based on Slavic ethnic ties and common membership of the Orthodox Church.
Most Serbs perceive Moscow as one of their biggest allies, especially in the battle to prevent international recognition of the independence of the former province of Kosovo.
Russia was among the first to condemn Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008, and has since voted against the membership of Kosovo in international institutions in line with Belgrade’s policies.
In turn, Serbia refused to join Western sanctions on Russia for its perceived role in fomenting the conflict in Ukraine, despite numerous calls from the Brussels stating that Serbia – as an EU candidate country – needs to align its foreign policy with that of the union.
Source; Balkan insight