Serbia wins Eurovision song contestSource: B92, Reuters, Tanjug, AFP
Helsinki -- Serbia won the 2007 Eurovision song contest on Saturday with the ballad "Molitva" sung by 23-year-old Marija Šerifović.
Serbia thus beat beating Ukraine, Russia that came second and third, along with 21 other acts for its first-ever title.
Some 120 million television viewers across Europe tuned in to watch the event and cast their votes by telephone. Serbia won a large majority of the votes from countries of the former Yugoslavia.
t was Serbia's first solo appearance in the contest as an independent nation after Serbia-Montenegro split last year.
"I honestly think that a new chapter has opened for Serbia and not only in music. I'm proud," Šerifović told a news conference after the contest.
Serbian citizens took to the streets with flags, tooting horns and chanting winning entry "Molitva" until the early hours.
Serbian president Boris Tadić and prime minister Vojislav Koštunica congratulated Marija on her victory.
“Well done, Marija. Entire Serbia takes pride in your achievement and celebrates your success,” Koštunica said in a greeting.
“Marija, thank you for your triumph that brought joy to Serbia,” Boris Tadić said in a statement.
EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn was the first EU official to congratulate Serbia on winning the Eurovision song contest.
“I congratulate Serbia on its victory. It has been a European vote for European Serbia,” Rehn told Tanjug news agency in Brussels.