Serb official denounces US ambassador over Kosovo

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia’s pro-Russia defense minister has denounced the U.S. ambassador to Serbia as arrogant for calling the former Serbian province of Kosovo a sovereign state.

Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin said in a statement that U.S. Ambassador Kyle Scott “has forgotten that Serbia is not a colony and that he cannot trample on its dignity.”

Earlier Monday, Scott said in response to a Serbian journalist’s question that “we recognize Kosovo as an independent and sovereign country.”

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia and its allies Russia and China don’t recognize the declaration, but most Western countries do.

NATO has led a peacekeeping force in Kosovo since the alliance intervened to stop a Serb crackdown on Kosovo Albanian separatists in 1999.

Serbia is seeking membership in the European Union, but has lately drifted toward Russia.

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