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Serbia Thanks Moscow For Support On Kosovo


Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a May 2012 meeting in Moscow
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic has said his country is "grateful" for Russia's backing on the Kosovo issue.

Nikolic was speaking at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the city of Sochi, on Russia's Black Sea coast.

Russia, a traditional ally of Serbia, does not recognize Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence and has denounced it as illegal.

The two leaders also signed an agreement on strategic partnership that calls for the bolstering of ties in a range of areas, including business, trade, and infrastructure projects.

It also backs closer political cooperation, especially on the issue of Kosovo, whose 2008 declaration of independence has been recognized by neither Serbia nor Russia.

Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vucic, who is also in Russia, was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying that Belgrade would discuss buying military equipment from Russia.

Vucic was scheduled to meet with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Based on reporting by B92 and ITAR-TASS