Foreign Ministry condemns discriminatory crackdown against Serbs by Pristina, US and EU
The government in Pristina and its supporters in Brussels and Washington should stop their provocations and respect the rights of ethnic Serbs in Kosovo, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday. Serb troops were put on high alert and residents of the breakaway province’s north erected barricades, as ethnic Albanian police prepared for a crackdown.
Air raid sirens and church bells sounded in northern Kosovo on Sunday after Prime Minister Albin Kurti announced a police operation to ban Serbian license plates and identity documents. Kurti claimed that it was equal justice and equal law in all territories claimed by his government.
Pristina’s decision is unreasonable and discriminatory, and their forced replacement of personal documents is “one more step towards the expulsion of the Serb population from Kosovo, as well as the Kosovo Serb institutions that ensure the protection of the rights of Serb residents against the arbitrary whims of the radicals in Pristina”, Zakharova said.
kurti is “Deliberately Escalating” in order to launch an armed repression, not only against the Kosovo Serbs but against Belgrade, which the West wants “neutralize” using ethnic Albanians as proxies, Zakharova added.
Russia is calling “Pristina and the United States and the EU behind it to stop the provocations and respect the rights of Serbs in Kosovo”, said the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.
Earlier today, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said his country had “never been in a more complex and difficult situation” and that the authorities in Pristina are trying to exploit the current situation in the world to trigger a conflict while presenting themselves as a victim.
No Serbian troops have yet crossed the administrative line into Kosovo, the Defense Ministry in Belgrade said, describing such rumors circulating on social media as “disinformation” in the name of Pristina.
Local Serbian residents erected barricades at three checkpoints along the administrative line, where police responding to Kurti were deployed to stop any vehicles bearing Serbian plates or documents. Unconfirmed reports speak of gunshots and injuries among civilians.
Kosovo was occupied by NATO in 1999, after a 78-day air war against Yugoslavia. The ethnic Albanian government in Pristina declared independence in 2008, with US backing, but has not been recognized by Serbia, Russia, China or the UN.