‘Large eruption brewing up in centre of Europe’ says Russia’s Lavrov on Kosovo

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“A large eruption is brewing up in the center of Europe, in the very place where in 1999 NATO carried out an aggression against Yugoslavia, violating all possible principles of Helsinki Accords and other OSCE documents. The situation is alarming, but the West made total suppression of everyone who voices their own opinion about its policy.”

STORY: Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday (May 29) described the situation in Kosovo as “a large brewing eruption in center of Europe.”The tense situation in Kosovo developed after ethnic Albanian mayors took offices in northern Kosovo’s Serb majority area after elections the Serbs boycotted.Ethnic Albanians make up more than 90% of the population in Kosovo as a whole, but northern Serbs have long demanded the implementation of an EU-brokered 2013 deal for the creation of an association of autonomous municipalities in their area.Serbs refused to take part in local elections in April and ethnic Albanian candidates won the mayoralties in four predominantly Serb municipalities – including North Mitrovica, where no incidents were reported on Monday (May 22) – with a 3.5% turnout.Serbs demand that the Kosovo government remove ethnic Albanian mayors from town halls and allow local administrations financed by Belgrade to resume their work.On Friday (May 26), three out of the four ethnic Albanian mayors were escorted into their offices by police, who were pelted with rocks and responded with tear gas and water cannon to disperse the protesters.The clashes led Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Friday to place the army on full combat alert and order the military units to move closer to the border.Serbia and its traditional ally Russia do not recognize Kosovo’s independence, and Moscow has blocked the country’s bid to become a member of the United Nations. Serbia still considers Kosovo a part of its territory.


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