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Russia ready to join expanded talks between Belgrade, Pristina, says Lavrov

February 22, 1:21 UTC+3 BELGRADE

In the course of a visit to Russia last December, President Vucic said Serbia hoped for Russia’s mediation in the dialogue with Pristina

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BELGRADE, February 22. /TASS/. Russia is ready to join expanded talks between Belgrade and Pristina as a mediator if the Serbian authorities say they would like this mediation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday following the talks with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic.

"If the Albanian side to this process expresses the wish to get more mediators, then we’ll rely on Serbia’s opinion, in the measure in which this would suit our Serbian friends," Lavrov said. "If they decide that Russia should be invited to ensure a comprehensive approach in a situation where the US has already been invited, then we certainly won’t stay aside."

In the course of a visit to Russia last December, President Vucic said Serbia hoped for Russia’s mediation in the dialogue with Pristina.

In mid-January 2018, unknown gunmen shot and killed Oliver Ivanovic, one of the political leaders of Kosovo Serbs. The killing took place in the city of Kosovska Mitrovica. Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said Belgrade would continue dialogue with Pristina only after it received well-specified information on how the Kosovan authorities were investigating the assassination.

On the whole, though, Serbia was committed to dialogue on normalizing relations with the breakaway Kosovo, Dacic said.

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