Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba kicked off an official visit to Serbia on Monday, where he was set to meet with the Balkan country's leaders days after a high-profile visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Ukraine's First Lady Olena Zelenska was also in the capital Belgrade, where she signed a new education agreement with a university in Serbia, according to a post on X.

Serbia remains a rare outlier in Europe for refusing to sanction the Kremlin following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Belgrade has long been close to Moscow, with its shared Orthodox heritage, mutual distrust of NATO, and military alliances during several wars strengthening their relations.

The country has welcomed tens of thousands Russians fleeing the war in recent years.


Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has also met multiple times with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, including a brief sit down during a summit in Albania in late February.

Kuleba's visit to Serbia was his first to the Balkan country since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The foreign minister was set to meet with Serbia's new Prime Minister Milos Vucevic, according to a government statement.

The visit comes less than a week after Serbia rolled out the red carpet for China's Xi during the leader's three-country European tour.

Serbia has long walked a fine line on the diplomatic front, where it has sought EU membership, welcomed Chinese investment, and remained on largely friendly terms with the Kremlin.

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The Balkan country has long been reliant on both Russia and Beijing's support in blocking recognition of Kosovo at the United Nations.

Ukraine has also never recognised Kosovo's declaration of independence in 2008.

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