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Russia Delivers Aid Shipment to Minority Serbs in Kosovo


The first shipment of Russian aid to minority Serbs in newly independent Kosovo has arrived in Belgrade, in a show of Moscow's support for Serbia in its dispute with the West over Kosovo.

Serbian government minister, Slobodan Samardzic met the shipment Wednesday, calling it a demonstration of material and moral support from its traditional ally.

The delivery of 40 tons of food is the first of several shipments promised by Moscow. Russia is expected to deliver about 140 additional tons of food, medicine and hospital equipment, worth about $1.7 million.

Kosovo's 90 percent ethnic Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia in February, in a move strongly opposed by Belgrade and Moscow. The United States and some 30 other nations have recognized the action.

In Moscow Wednesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia will prevent Kosovo from becoming a full member of the United Nations.

Lavrov told Russian lawmakers that Moscow will use its power as a permanent U.N. Security Council member to block any Kosovo entry bid.