05:42 GMT +324 February 2019
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    Kosovo Serb caring Serbian flag during the protest against recognition of Kosovo as an independent state, in the northern Serb-dominated part of the ethnically divided town of Mitrovica, Kosovo, Monday, April 22, 2013

    Serbia Praises Russian Stance on Kosovo Issue With Respect to Int’l Law

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    Belgrade is grateful to Moscow for its position on Serbia’s breakaway region of Kosovo, the stance that stresses the importance of abiding by the international law, Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin told Sputnik on Saturday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has since been recognized by over 100 UN member states, but dozens of other countries, including Serbia and Russia, do not recognize Kosovo's sovereignty.

    "We are very grateful to the Russian Federation because of politics regarding Kosovo and Metohija, their principal position of the support of the international law, because Kosovo and Metohija is really [about] international law more than anything. That’s our politics and we will continue with this politics. I think the friendship between our nations cannot be damaged or compromised," Vulin said during his official visit to Moscow.

    Moscow has regular interaction with Belgrade on issues related to countering attempts to push Kosovo into international organizations. The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly emphasized that Kosovo could not be considered a state with legal personality and therefore has no right to apply for membership in international organizations, in particular such as the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

    Vulin also said that he wants Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to visit Belgrade in the near future and would discuss possible dates during their bilateral meeting in Moscow.

    Later in the day, the two ministers will hold talks on the sidelines of the International Army Games 2017 to discuss bilateral cooperation.

    "I will invite Minister Shoigu to come to Serbia as soon as possible. [The date of the visit] is something that we will agree on. I will see what is his agenda, we have dates to offer, historical occasions when we should meet together. I hope that I will be a good host to Mr. Shoigu in Belgrade," Vulin said.

    The defense minister added that he intended to become friends with the Russian counterpart to match good relations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

    "For me, for Serbia, it is a great honor to have an opportunity to speak with Minister Shoigu. He is well-known in Serbia; he is loved and very respected in Serbia. We don’t need an agenda to have a meeting, but of course we have different topics about the cooperation of our armies, and of course cooperation of our governments. Our President Mr. Aleksandar Vucic and President of Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin are close friends — they have a personal bond and so Minister Shoigu and I must be very good friends as well," Vulin, who was appointed Defense Minister in late June, said.

    On June 28, Serbia's Acting Assistant Defense Minister for Material Resources Nenad Miloradovic told Sputnik that Serbia awaited Shoigu's visit in the near future.


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