Serbia Lashes Out at U.S. After Diplomat's Warning on Venezuela

(Bloomberg) -- Serbia rejected a warning from the U.S. over its support for embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro a week after Belgrade hosted a delegation from the Latin American state.

U.S. Ambassador to Belgrade Kyle Scott tweeted that Serbia is “on the wrong side of history," noting that more than 50 countries have endorsed Maduro challenger Juan Guaido. Serbia’s foreign minister responded by saying his country had “respect for international law and non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign countries.”

The minister, Ivica Dacic, also criticized U.S. support for the recognition of Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a decade after fighting a war with its neighbor that was ended by a NATO-led bombing campaign against Serb troops.

“As if Americans are on the right side by supporting Kosovo,” Dacic said in comments during a parliamentary meeting.

The disagreement underscores the balancing act that Serbia is performing as it tries to advance toward European Union membership while also keeping close ties with allies including Russia, China and Venezuela, which back Belgrade in its struggle to prevent Kosovo from being recognized as a sovereign state.

Many countries in the EU have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s interim leader. But this week, Serbia hosted a government delegation from Venezuela, a strong signal that it’s keeping open ties with the Maduro government. Russia and China also back Maduro.

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