Russian ambassador warns Serbia against the West

15th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russia's ambassador to Serbia warned Belgrade on Thursday not seek an ally in the West, which he said was acting "against Serbia's national interests," local media reported.

"NATO and European Union member states will be against your national interests ...," Tanjug news agency quoted ambassador Aleksandar Konuzin as telling a forum on global security in Belgrade.

Konuzin spoke as Kosovo prepared to execute its threat to take over disputed border crossings with Serbia, a move that Belgrade has strongly opposed.

Noting that the United Nations Security Council would discuss the issue later Thursday, Konuzin said Russia would back "Serbia's interests" at the session.

"We have the same interests and we will defend your country," he said.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. It has so far been recognised by some 80 countries, including the US and most of the EU member states.

But Belgrade, backed by traditional ally Russia, staunchly opposes Kosovo's independence

Russia is an important investor in Serbia and wants to keep its influence in the Balkans country, which is pursuing membership of the European Union while stressing that it wants to maintain privileged links with Moscow.

© 2011 AFP

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