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EU Welcomes Serbian President Tadic's Re-election

The European Union is hailing the re-election of pro-Western Serbian President Boris Tadic, saying it proves Serbia's commitment to mainstream Europe.

In a congratulatory note Monday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called Mr. Tadic's win Sunday a victory for democracy and European values. Both Germany and Austria also promised more support for Serbia's move toward eventual EU membership.

Senior Russian lawmakers said Mr. Tadic's win assured that good bilateral relations will continue.

Mr. Tadic narrowly defeated ultra-nationalist challenger Tomislav Nikolic by a margin of 51 to 48 percent.

Both candidates opposed independence for Serbia's breakaway Kosovo province, where ethnic Albanian leaders are expected to declare independence from Belgrade in coming weeks.

Last week, European nations agreed to support closer ties with Serbia, in a push to counter anti-Western anger over Kosovo's pending declaration of independence.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.