Serbia has asked Russia to veto a British U.N. Security Council resolution that would call the Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian civil war in the 1990s a genocide.

Serbian media said Saturday the country's pro-Russian President Tomislav Nikolic has sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin "pleading" for a Russian "no" in the U.N. council when the resolution is expected to be tabled next week.

Western nations and Russia have been dueling in the U.N. over whether the worst carnage in Europe since World War II should be called genocide or not.

The British resolution was intended to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the slaughter of some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb troops in July 1995. U.N. courts have labeled it genocide.