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Serbia will reject EU membership without some yield on Kosovo deal, Vucic says, as he meets Lavrov

President Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday he would reject European Union membership for Serbia if it does not receive concessions in return for recognizing Kosovo and dropping attempts to stop it joining the UN.

No resolution of Serbia’s future relationship with its breakaway province will be possible without Moscow’s consent, Vucic said after meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Belgrade, according to Reuters.

“In reply to a possible offer [to Serbia] to recognize Kosovo and that Kosovo enters the UN, and we receive nothing in return, except EU membership, our answer would be ‘No,’” Vucic said.

Vucic also asked Russia to protect the Orthodox Church in the Balkans, according to TASS. Lavrov’s visit comes three days ahead of parliamentary elections in Serbia. He said Russia would only support solutions to the Kosovo question acceptable to Belgrade and approved by the UN Security Council, where Moscow has a veto.