Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the "brutal attack" by Kosovar police against a senior Serbian official earlier in the week.
Marko Djuric, the head of the Serbian government office for Kosovo, was arrested and expelled from Kosovo on March 26 after entering the country without an official permit. Djuric was arrested in the divided northern town of Mitrovica. The incident has fueled fears of renewed instability in the region.
According to a statement from Vucic’s office, the Serbian president asked Putin for advice on how to counter Kosovo's "violence and aggression" against Serbs.
The statement also said that Vucic sought Putin's counsel "because it's perfectly clear that [Kosovar] Albanians have wide support of numerous Western states for their unilateral declaration of independence" a decade ago.
The Kremlin said in a statement that Putin and the Serbian president discussed the issue of Kosovo "in the context of the provocative action by Pristina authorities" against Djuric.
Earlier on March 28, Kosovo's Serbian minority demanded that the country's interior minister and police chief resign over the arrest and expulsion of Djuric.
While Russia supports Serbia's claims over its former province, the United States and most Western states have recognized Kosovo's independence.