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17:26 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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Russia to recognize Kosovo only if Serbia agrees - Putin

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President Vladimir Putin said Saturday Russia could recognize Kosovo's independence only in line with international law, and if Serbia agrees to that.
NOVO-OGARYOVO, March 8 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin said Saturday Russia could recognize Kosovo's independence only in line with international law, and if Serbia agrees to that.

Asked at a press conference after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel whether Russia could later recognize Kosovo's independence, Putin said: "This variant exists, but it lies in the framework of international law."

He said it could happen "with consent of all parties, in this case, Serbia." "Should such a compromise be found, we will agree with it," the outgoing Russian leader said.

Serbia's breakaway province of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on February 17. So far over 25 states, including the United States, Australia, Japan and major European countries, have formally recognized the Republic of Kosovo.

Belgrade has recalled its ambassadors from a number of countries recognizing Kosovo's independence. Russia has pledged to block any move by Kosovo to join the United Nations.