13:58 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic

    Serbian Leader Expects Improvement in US-Russia Relations

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    Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said that Trump's victory "was not expected only by those who live with their eyes closed."

    BELGRADE (Sputnik) — Belgrade expects improvement in relations between the United States and Russia after the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential elections, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said on Wednesday.

    Earlier in the day, Trump defeated his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the elections. The Congress is scheduled to approve the results of the voting on January 6, 2017. The US president-elect will take office at the inauguration on January 20. Shorty after the results were made public, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a congratulatory letter to Trump, in which the Russian leader said that Moscow was ready to restore full-format relations with the United States, saying that it was a "good sign."

    "If the campaign rhetoric was not false, we can expect the co-operation between Russia and the United States, a better understanding of Serbia's position on non-recognition of the independence of the so-called [state of] Kosovo, and [Serbia's] position on non-accession to the sanctions against Russia," Nikolic said, as quoted by his press service.

    Nikolic said that Trump's victory "was not expected only by those who live with their eyes closed."

    During his electoral campaign, Trump criticized the state of the relations between Moscow and Washington, as they deteriorated following Crimea's reunification with Russia and Ukrainian crisis in 2014.

    In 1998, an armed conflict broke out between Kosovo Albanian independence supporters and Yugoslavia, with the militias seeking independence of Kosovo and Metohija. The following year, NATO intervened in the conflict without UN approval and started to bomb Yugoslavia. Since then, Belgrade has lost control of Kosovo, as the Serbian government had to agree to the presence of a NATO military contingent and the subsequent transfer of the territory to UN administration. In 2008, the Albanian government of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia.

    Unlike the United States and some European countries, Russia has not recognized Kosovar statehood, and believes Kosovo to be part of Serbia.

    Related:

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    Trump Will Build Relations With Russia Carefully - US Diplomat
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    Donald Trump, Tomislav Nikolic, Russia, Serbia, United States
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