President Vladimir Putin may have won few recent admirers in the West, but he has found an unusual ally in the form of a Serbian restaurant owner who has decided to name his cafe after the Russian leader.
Cafe Putin, whose sign displays a portrait of the Russian head of state, will open next week in Serbia's second-largest city Novi Sad, owner Radivoj Miljanic told Serbian television network RTC.
"A lot of people in Novi Sad respect President Vladimir Putin. There are many Russophiles and people who adore him," Milyanich said in the interview, adding that he saw nothing controversial with the name of his cafe.
While many Western leaders have condemned the actions of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, the residents of Novi Sad appear to have more sympathy for the rebel fighters.
In August, representatives of eastern Ukraine's separatist Luhansk People's Republic will fly to Novi Sad to take part in a friendly football match against the local team, according to a statement on the self-proclaimed republic's website.
"Dear brothers, we are ready to host your national team. … You don't have to pick 18 pro players, pick any 18 players," Tomislav Lovrekovic, FC Novi Sad's president, wrote in his letter to the LPR.
While members of the Luhansk People's Republic will be obliged to pay for their flights, the Serbian team will foot the costs of board and lodgings, the letter added.