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Moscow Calls for ‘Diplomatic’ Solution to Kosovo Tensions

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic with Russian President Vladimir Putin kremlin.ru

The Kremlin on Monday called for a "diplomatic" resolution to a recent flare-up in tensions in Kosovo following attacks targeting the police.

"We are in favor of the parties making efforts of a peaceful nature and this situation being resolved through diplomatic means," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters. 

"We stand for ensuring that all the rights of the Serbs are guaranteed," he added. 

With historically close ties, Serbia is one of Russia's few remaining allies in Europe after President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine. 

Although Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, Belgrade does not recognize it and encourages the Serb majority in northern Kosovo to defy Pristina's authority.

Tensions escalated this weekend in northern Kosovo after unknown attackers exchanged gunfire with the police and threw a stun grenade at EU law enforcers.

Hundreds of Serbs, outraged over the arrest of a former police officer, set up roadblocks, which paralyzed traffic through two border crossings from Kosovo to Serbia. 

Pristina and Belgrade traded accusations over the latest incidents with Kosovo deciding to postpone local elections in Serb-majority municipalities scheduled for mid-December.

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