BELGRADE – Ukraine’s Ambassador Oleksandr Aleksandrovych has told the Belgrade-based daily Blic that his country’s position not to recognize Kosovo remains unchanged.

However, he voiced his suspicion that Russia – which also does not recognize the unilateral declaration of this Serbian province’s independence – might “renounce Kosovo” in case the West “recognizes Crimea.”

“Today Russia maintains its veto on Kosovo’s independence, tomorrow it could cancel it. Russia vetoed it not because it loves Serbs very much, but because this suits their policy. Putin said he was ready to renounce Kosovo if the West recognized Crimea. There is no brotherhood and friendship in politics, only interests,” said the Ukrainian diplomat.

He also “stressed that Ukraine does not recognize Kosovo as a state,” and noted that when his country was drawn to the same groups as Kosovo in the qualifiers for European basketball championship and the football World Cup, it decided to play the home games outside its borders.

“Otherwise, we would have had to accept their passports as legitimate. On the other hand, Russians accepted citizens with Kosovo documents,” Aleksandrovych said, and added it was “not fair” that when Ukraine stands up in support of Serbia’s position, “nobody even says ‘thank you’.”

The ambassador also thinks that Serbia has “more in common with Ukraine than with Russia.”

“We are also an Orthodox (Christian) people. You have Kosovo, we have Crimea and eastern Ukraine. As in Kosovo, people came there with huge amounts of arms, which they received from the outside, and took our territory away,” claims Aleksandrovych.

Speaking about the situation in Ukraine, the diplomat then said it was about “Russia’s aggression,” whereas the West is “trying to help.”