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As Biden visits Serbia, hundreds of protesters chant ‘Vote for Trump!’

Hundreds of Serbian ultra-nationalists protest against U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Belgrade by chanting, "Vote for Trump!" Mana Rabiee reports. (Video: Reuters)

Vice President Biden received a cold welcome Tuesday in Belgrade, Serbia, as hundreds of ultranationalists marched through the city chanting "Vote for Trump!"

Biden was in Serbia in a bid to encourage the country's government to normalize relations with Kosovo, which split away from Serbia in 1999 and claimed independence in 2008.

However, the embittered 2016 U.S. presidential race — and perhaps Biden's history of support for the NATO bombing of Serbia in the 1990s — prompted self-described radicals onto the street.

While the protesters were kept far from the area of Belgrade that Biden was visiting, they still created a spectacle, wearing white T-shirts with Donald Trump's face on them and chanting the Republican candidate's name.

"Trump is the alternative to globalization. He will destroy old centers of power in the United States and he is a supporter of Russia," Vojislav Seselj, head of the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party, told Reuters reporters at the scene. Seselj, who was acquitted in March of war crimes by a U.N. tribunal, also said that Serbian Americans should vote for Trump.

In the most recent parliamentary election, the Serbian Radical Party won 22 seats out of 250 in the Serbian National Assembly with about 8 percent of the vote. In the past, Seselj's party has aligned itself with other controversial figures, including Libya's Moammar Gaddafi.

Biden had been an outspoken critic of the Serbian state in the 1990s and a strong supporter of intervention in the region. He has recalled telling Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic he was a "damned war criminal" in 1993, though some — including The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler — have suggested he exaggerated his role in U.S. Balkans policy.

During his time in Belgrade, Biden apologized for the deaths caused by the NATO bombing campaign in Serbia. “The memories of the loss of the loved ones are still fresh,” he told reporters after talks with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.

Biden will travel to Kosovo on Wednesday, where the government recently announced it would be naming a road after his son Beau, who died of brain cancer in May 2015.

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