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Kosovo Serbs Want Russian Citizenship

More than 50,000 Kosovo Serbs have petitioned the Russian Embassy in Belgrade to grant them Russian citizenship.

"Dual citizenship [Serbian and Russian] would prevent the further Islamicization of the Kosovo Serbs," said Zlatibor Dzhordzhevich, leader of the Old Serbia movement that organized the petition, according to RIA-Novosti.

The number of petitioners was far higher than the 23,000 who were reported to be seeking Russian citizenship earlier this month.

Volunteers have been traveling throughout Kosovo taking down names and passport details of those wishing to obtain Russian citizenship, Dzhordzhevich said.

Kosovo Serbs are seeking support from Russia on a political level but have no intention of relocating to Russia, RIA-Novosti reported.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Russia would look into the requests for citizenship and called the Kosovo Serbs' position "desperate," Interfax reported.

Meanwhile, the petition has been labeled "unpatriotic" by Goran Bogdanovich, Serbia's minister for Kosovo.

Serbs make up about 10 percent of Kosovo's population, which mostly consists of ethnic Albanians.

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