18:06 GMT +3 hours26 November 2014
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Serb leader, Russian minister show solidarity on Kosovo

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Serbia's president reiterated his tough stance on the country's independence-seeking province of Kosovo at talks in Belgrade with a senior Russian official, who repeated Moscow's calls for direct negotiations on the issue.
BELGRADE, June 22 (RIA Novosti) - Serbia's president reiterated his tough stance on the country's independence-seeking province of Kosovo at talks in Belgrade with a senior Russian official, who repeated Moscow's calls for direct negotiations on the issue.

"Serbia will not waive its southern province of Kosovo, and will consistently defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, insisting on a compromise acceptable to Belgrade as well as Pristina," President Boris Tadic said at a meeting Friday with Sergei Shoigu, Russia's minister in charge of disaster relief, who is visiting Serbia as chairman of the Russian-Serbian cooperation commission.

Moscow, a staunch ally of Belgrade, has repeatedly blocked the European Union and United States' efforts to push through a United Nations resolution granting independence to Kosovo, a predominantly Albanian region that has been a UN protectorate since NATO expelled Serb forces from the province in 1999.

Meeting earlier with Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremic, Shoigu said: "Russia's position on Kosovo is well known... It is well-grounded, consistent, and unchanging: this issue must be resolved in direct negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina."

Jeremic said Serbia "still believes that there is a possibility of compromise between Belgrade and Pristina," and expressed his country's appreciation for Moscow's support on the issue.