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Russia To Lend Serbia $500 million, Pledges Support On Kosovo


Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (right) and his Serbian counterpart, Ivica Dacic, attend a signing ceremony at the Gorki state residence on April 10.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (right) and his Serbian counterpart, Ivica Dacic, attend a signing ceremony at the Gorki state residence on April 10.

Russia has granted Serbia a $500 million loan and promised to back Belgrade in its dispute with Kosovo.

Russia's credit to Serbia, a 10-year loan carrying interest of 3.5 percent, was only half the amount Belgrade was seeking to help restore growth this year after a recession in 2012.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also told his Serbian counterpart, Ivica Dacic, in Moscow on April 10 that Russia would "always support our Serbian friends," but said a solution to the dispute with Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority must come from Belgrade itself.

Serbia on April 8 rejected an agreement that emerged from six months of negotiations with Kosovo, which declared independence from Belgrade in 2008.

Belgrade said the accord fell short of the broad autonomy it seeks for an ethnic Serbian area in northern Kosovo.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP
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