Serbia's president Aleksandar Vucic said he has spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking him for advice on how to counter Kosovo's "violence and aggression" against the Serbs.
According to Aleksandar Vucic's office, he informed Putin about the "brutal attack" by Kosovo police on Monday against a senior Serb official who was arrested and expelled after entering the country without an official permit. The statement, issued by his office, also said that Vucic sought Putin's advice "because it's perfectly clear that (Kosovo) Albanians have wide support of numerous Western states for their unilateral declaration of independence" a decade ago.
The statement didn't say whether Putin had offered any specific advice.
On a related note, the Kremlin said that President Putin, in a call with the Serbian president, has strongly condemned the arrest of the senior Serbian official by Kosovo police.
It said in a statement that Putin and Serbian President Vucic on Wednesday discussed the issue of Kosovo "in the context of the provocative action by Pristina authorities" against Marko Djuric, the head of the Serbian government office for Kosovo.
The statement added that Putin expressed "resolute condemnation" of Djuric's arrest, which he said violated a UN Security Council's resolution.
Kosovo police detained Marko Djuric, the head of the Serbian government office for Kosovo, in the divided northern town of Mitrovica on Monday because he entered the country without Kosovo's official approval. He was later expelled under police escort.Kosovo's Serb minority has demanded that the country's interior minister and police chief resign over the arrest and expulsion of a senior official from Serbia's government.
The approach Vucic has taken shows that he tries to push Serbia toward EU entry and also tries to keep strong ties with Russia. He has refused to acknowledge Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008, almost a decade after NATO warplanes forced Serb troops out of Kosovo.