Tuesday, November 15, 2011

21,000 Kosovo Serbs Seek Russian Citizenship

Citing Zlatibor Djordjevic, a spokesman for the Old Serbia movement, Serbian media reported that thousands of Kosovo Serbs have applied for Russian citizenship.  "We have handed over 21,733 Russian citizenship requests to the Russian embassy in Belgrade," Djordjevic stated. He said the requests, addressed to the Russian State Duma, will be delivered to the lower chamber of the Russian parliament via the Foreign Ministry. Djordjevic added that more Serbs may turn to Russia for protection. "By all possible means, we tried to get protection from our country [Serbia], but it pushes us back into the state which refuses to recognize [Kosovo]," Djordjevic said, adding that his supporters do not recognize any agreements reached during talks between Pristina and Belgrade, which began with an EU mediation this March in Brussels. Kosovo, a landlocked region with a population of mainly ethnic Albanians, declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008. About 5 to 10 % of Kosovo's two-million residents are ethnic Serbs. Apparently, the applicants do not intend to move to Russia, but rather expect to obtain Russian protection in Kosovo where they reside. Russia does not recognize the independence of Kosovo, believing, as many Serbs do, that it is legally a part of Serbia.


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