“Serbia’s president sought advice from Russian President Vladimir Putin on how to respond to a spike in tension with Kosovo.

Aleksandar Vucic’s office said in a statement that he informed Putin about the ‘brutal attack’ by Kosovo police on Monday against a senior Serb official who was arrested and expelled after entering the country without an official permit.

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 statement said

It didn’t say whether Putin had offered any specific guidance, but Vucic later told a Serbian TV station that Serbia can count on ‘full and crucial help from the Russian Federation.’

The call underscored the approach Vucic has taken as he tries to push Serbia toward European Union entry next decade. While he has engaged with the bloc, he’s also kept strong ties with Russia and has refused to acknowledge Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008, which came almost a decade after NATO warplanes forced Serb troops out of Kosovo.” (VoA)