The Kremlin Supports the Serbs in Kosovo - The West blames PristinaSoutheast Europe | May 31, 2023, Wednesday // 16:22| views
Russia and France have unequivocally pointed to Kosovo as responsible for the tensions and clashes outside town halls in several predominantly Serb towns following Washington's crackdown on Pristina.
This deepened the isolation of Prime Minister Albin Kurti, who, however, decided to go to the Globsec forum in Bratislava for his scheduled meetings and to present his point of view on the events in the country, "for which Serbia is entirely to blame".
Meanwhile, according to Reuters, American soldiers are guarding the town hall in Leposavic. Polish troops stand outside the municipality of Zvecan as hundreds of Serbs gather there and in other protest-hit towns to demand that the ethnic Albanians, who won the election under a Serbian boycott and with extremely low turnout, stop carrying out their duties as they have begun to do on Friday.
This decision led to clashes in Zvecan, Leposavic and Zubin Potok, and on Monday there were clashes between NATO troops and Serb protesters. The US began punishing Kosovo after Pristina did not heed the advice of its closest partner to prevent mayors from taking office.
Russia commented on the topic again days after Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned of an impending "explosion" in the heart of Europe. Today, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Russia supports the Kosovo Serbs and that their rights and interests must be protected. "We support Serbia and the Serbs unconditionally," said Peskov, who said there was no room for "provocative actions" in the current situation.
Suspense and dialogue at the same time
French President Emmanuel Macron has joined critics of Kosovo, declaring that the country's authorities are responsible for the escalation. In Bratislava, he said he hoped to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic later this week.
It was France and Germany that drove the normalization proposal, which Vucic and Kurti accepted in principle, but after weeks of deadlock, tensions rose.
At the same forum, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, expressed her "concern" at the events in Northern Kosovo. According to the program, it is not planned for her to meet with Kurti, who, however, had in his schedule conversations with at least two European representatives - the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell and the special envoy for the Western Balkans, Miroslav Lajcak.
At the same time, the presidents of the leading chambers of commerce of Serbia and Kosovo set an example of dialogue. The head of the Serbian Marko Cadez - close to the authorities in Belgrade - announced on LinkedIn that he is traveling to Brussels together with his colleague from Kosovo Lulzim Rafuna, where he will have talks with the European Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi.
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