17:49 GMT +319 August 2019
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    Over 21,000 Kosovo Serbs seek Russian citizenship - media

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    More than 20,000 Kosovo Serbs have applied for Russian citizenship, Serbian media reported citing Zlatibor Djordjevic, a spokesman for the Old Serbia movement.

    More than 20,000 Kosovo Serbs have applied for Russian citizenship, Serbian media reported citing Zlatibor Djordjevic, a spokesman for the Old Serbia movement.

    "We have handed over 21,733 Russian citizenship requests to the Russian embassy in Belgrade," the Beta news agency quoted Djordjevic as saying.

    He said the letter, addressed to the Russian State Duma, will be delivered to the lower chamber of the Russian parliament via the Foreign Ministry. The Russian Foreign Ministry is yet to comment on the reports.

    Djordjevic added that more Serbs may turn to Russia for protection.

    "By all possible means, we tried to get protection from our country, but it pushes us back into the state which we refuse to recognize," Djordjevic said, adding that his supporters do not recognize any agreements reached during talks between Pristina and Belgrade, which began this March in Brussels with the EU mediation.

    Kosovo, a landlocked region with a population of mainly ethnic Albanians, declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008. About 5-10 percent of Kosovo two-million-people population are ethnic Serbs.

    Tensions flared in Kosovo's ethnic Serb enclave in northern Kosovo in October after Albanian Kosovars installed their customs officers at the Jarinje and Brnjak border crossings with Serbia.

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