Russia « absolutely » supports Serbia: Kremlin

Kosovo’s decision to ban Serbian license plates and IDs was ‘unreasonable’, Moscow insists

Moscow fully supports its ally Belgrade in the dispute with Kosovo over the breakaway province’s decision to ban Serbian license plates and identity papers, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov has said.

“Of course, we absolutely support Serbia,” Peskov responded, after being challenged on the issue by reporters on Monday.

The decision by the Kosovo authorities to ban Serbian license plates and identity documents was « absolutely unreasonable » he stated.

On Sunday, Serbs in the north of the breakaway province set up roadblocks and sounded the alarm as heavily armed special police took control of two administrative crossings with Serbia, preparing to implement Pristina’s order.

As tensions rose, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti announced late in the day that the ban had been postponed at the request of the US ambassador to the province. However, Kurti pointed out that the measure, which Pristina said was necessary to impose « Law and order, » was only delayed, not cancelled.

“Thank goodness escalation was averted tonight, but this situation has only been postponed for a month, so it is paramount that all parties exercise caution,” he added. stressed the Kremlin press secretary.

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Kosovo delays crackdown on Serbs

Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko also warned on Monday that « it was difficult to see the conditions for finding lasting solutions to these problems which caused the current tension peak. » The lack of agreement on license plates and identity documents, and many other similar issues, are « be used by Pristina to take unilateral and spontaneous decisions aimed at pressing [the Serbs] out of Kosovo, he added.

According to Peskov, Moscow believes that Western countries, which recognized the predominantly Albanian-populated Kosovo in 2008, « should now use their influence to warn the Kosovo authorities against any misguided move », he said.

Serbia considers Kosovo as part of its territory and is supported in this move by Russia, China and the UN in general, which have not recognized the territory as an independent entity.

Russia was behind « Peaceful and constructive » position taken by Belgrade regarding the dispute and expressed by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, stressed the Kremlin press secretary.

READ MORE: Kosovo plans to attack Serbs – Belgrade

In his address to the nation on Sunday, Vucic urged all parties to “Keep the peace at almost any cost. I ask the Albanians to come to their senses, the Serbs not to fall into provocations.

However, he also blamed the Kosovo authorities for violating the human rights of local Serbs and promised that they « suffer no more atrocities. »


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