Serbia Arrests Kosovo Serb Activist after Merkel Kosovo Visit

World | December 20, 2011, Tuesday // 20:04|  views

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Kosovar PM Hasim Thaci in Pristina Monday. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Kosovo Serb Zvonko Veselinovic has been arrested by Serbian authorities on suspicions that he has been involved in criminal activities, most likely contraband.

The Kosovska Mitrovica resident is currently being held in the police department in central Serbian city of Kraljevo, near the Kosovo border.

Veselinovic has been also mentioned in the past as one of the principal activists who have organized road barricades to block Kosovo's border with Serbia that provoked tensions over the summer and fall.

Blockades followed in a wake of a mutually imposed embargo between Serbia and its breakaway province.

Serbs in Northern Kosovo do not recognize Kosovo's independence and have denied access of NATO KFOR units and Kosovo authorities to manage the border.

This has led to counter-accusations that so-called "parallel structures" by Serbs in Northern Kosovo have are profiting from the crisis by engaging in smuggling.

Monday German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a surprise visit to Pristina in which she was exceptionally explicit, saying that Serbia must reach a peace deal with Kosovo if it is to ever join the EU.

Merkel further urged the Serbian government not to support the parallel structures in Northern Kosovo and to help lift all road blockades there.

Serbia failed to get a much hoped-for official EU candidate status at the European Council December 9, ostensibly because of German opposition motivated by Serbia's Kosovo policy.

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Tags: Kosovska Mitrovica, Pristina, KFOR, NATO, Germany, German, independence, arrested, contraband, smuggling, Northern Kosovo, kosovo, EU, Angela Merkel, Zvonko Veselinovic, Serbia, Serb, Kraljevo


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