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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lavrov Backs Serbs in Kosovo Dispute

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated on Wednesday that Russia had "firm solidarity" with Serbia on Kosovo, in a sign that Moscow is unwilling to change its stance on the Balkan province ahead of the Group of Eight summit.

"The Serbian government has proposed the continuation of talks, and we support this. We will not agree to any unilateral imposition of a decision on Belgrade," Lavrov told reporters at a meeting with Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic.

Kosovo's ethnic majority is impatient for independence and has the backing of the United States and the EU. But Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has hinted that it could veto a resolution that effectively gives Kosovo independence. "For Serbia the independence of Kosovo of any kind is absolutely unacceptable," Jeremic said. "Russia's position is practically identical to our position." President Vladimir Putin will meet Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica this weekend at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Lavrov said.