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Moscow Calls on NATO, EU to Urge Pristina to Prevent Escalation

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Russia is concerned about the situation in Kosovo, events are developing according to a scenario from bad to worse, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, Sputnik reported.

“We are concerned as we see growing tensions in Kosovo, which were triggered by irresponsible actions of the Kosovo Albanian authorities …Today it is obvious that the situation is degrading from bad to even worse … We stress once again that the NATO forces for Kosovo and the EU mission … have mandates for preventing iniquity and therefore bear full responsibility for protecting civilians and ensuring peace and security.

It is time to put vigorous pressure on the Pristina administration to make it withdraw security forces from Kosovo’s north and prevent the situation from slipping into open conflict,” Zakharova said in a statement, released by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

On September 20, Serbs residing in northern Kosovo staged a rally along the administrative line between Kosovo and Serbia against a ban on Serbian license plates imposed by Kosovo.

The new regulation requires that all vehicles entering Kosovo be equipped with temporary, Pristina-issued license plates, which provoked dissent among the Serbian population. In the evening, Kosovar police deployed tear gas against the protesters at Yarine and Brnjak checkpoints, but they refused to disperse.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in a special address that Serbia will call on NATO and the international KFOR contingent under the auspices of the alliance to protect the lives and property of Serbs in Kosovo. The special representative of the UN Secretary, Gen. Zahir Tanin, called on all sides of the situation in Kosovo to avoid fighting and move on to dialogue.


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