BELGRADE – Belgrade will not support sanctions against Russia as they run contrary to Serbia’s national interests, the country’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said Saturday.

“Introduction of sanctions against Russia contradicts national and state interests of Serbia, and that’s it! There is nothing more to talk about this subject,” Dacic said at a briefing. Serbia would “act against itself” if it backed sanctions against the country, which supports Serbia over the issue of Kosovo, the minister added.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, and has since been recognized by over a hundred UN member-states, including the United States. Belgrade considers Kosovo to be part of Serbia. Dozens of countries, including Russia, do not recognize Kosovo’s sovereignty.

Since 2014, relations between Russia and the European Union deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine. Brussels, Washington and their allies have introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions since Crimea became part of Russia in 2014 and over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. Russia has repeatedly refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive and undermine global stability.