BELGRADE, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Around 21,000 Serbs from Kosovo on Monday appealed to Russia's lower house of parliament for help in obtaining a Russian citizenship.
Zlatibor Djordjevic, representative of the association "Old Serbia" from central Kosovo municipal Gracanica, delivered the requests to the Russian embassy on behalf of more than 21,000 Serbs from Kosovo.
According to Serbian daily Blic, he said that he expects the number of requests will reach several hundred thousands.
"They named protection of their security as the main motive," said Oleg Buldakov, counsellor of the Russian Embassy in Serbia, adding that the petition was signed by Serbs residing in Kosovo, as well as refugees from the region.
Djordjevic said that the collecting of signatures continues and he hopes that hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Serbs, including those who have fled from Kosovo after 1945, will sign the request for citizenship.
He said that Serbs from Kosovo, by demanding for dual citizenship from Russia, only seek protection and freedom which couldn't be provided by Serbia.
According to Djordjevic, the action of signing a petition calling for Russian citizenship for Kosovo Serbs was launched two months ago.
It is not the first time Serbs have appealed to Russia for protection. Last year, a similar initiative was put forward by a group of Kosovo Serb leaders.
Serbian opposition New Serbia leader Velimir Ilic said on Monday that Serbs asking for citizenship in another country is "a shame for all of us."
But Serbian State Secretary for Kosovo affairs Oliver Ivanovic believes such steps are wrong. "It would be much wiser to take part in the coming parliamentary elections, and cast a ballot for those who would protect their interests better," he told local medias on Monday.