The Kremlin on Monday welcomed the victory claimed in parliamentary elections by Serbian leader Aleksandar Vucic's party in the Moscow-friendly Balkan nation.

Serbia and Russia have historically close ties and Belgrade did not join international sanctions against Moscow for its Ukraine offensive.

Vucic said Sunday his Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) won the vote, while official results are expected late on Monday.

"We welcome this achievement from Mr Vucic," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that Moscow hoped the result would lead to the "further strengthening of friendship" between the countries.

Peskov also referred to Serbia as "brotherly" country.

A considerable part of Serbia's population is supportive of Moscow's large-scale military campaign in Ukraine, sharing Russia's dislike of the US-led NATO military alliance that backs Kyiv.

But Belgrade has also become a hub for Russians critical of the offensive fleeing Moscow, with flights still open between the two countries, unlike from Russia to much of Europe.

But Serbia has condemned Russia's aggression at the UN and its support has caused controversy.

In November, Serbia's intelligence chief Aleksandar Vulin -- who visited Russia during its offensive -- resigned, claiming international pressure on Belgrade.

Serbia is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas. Its opposition complained of foul play during the parliamentary election.