Moscow is ” alarm “ by rising tensions in Kosovo, which are the fault of the “radical” ethnic Albanian authorities in the breakaway Serbian province and their Western sponsors, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday.
The Pristina authorities have undertaken a “series of provocations” with the connivance of the United States and the EU, using “ethnically motivated violence” to target remaining Serbs in the province, Zakharova told reporters.
Prime Minister Albin Kurti seeks to divert attention from a failed domestic policy by “playing with fire, turning the serbophobic hysteria” and the escalation of tensions “closely approaching an armed conflict”, Zakharova said. Only the patience of local Serbs and the government in Belgrade prevents things from degenerating into open violence, she added.
“We stand in solidarity with the leaders of Serbia,” Zakharova said, endorsing Belgrade’s position that Kosovo Albanians and the West “Cynically ignoring the fundamental UN Security Council Resolution 1244, the Brussels and Washington Accords.”
The UN resolution provided for a NATO presence in the province after the bombing of Serbia in 1999, while the 2013 Brussels agreement provided autonomy for other ethnic Serbs.
UNSCR 1244 clearly provides for Serbia to send its security forces to the province, and “even apologists of the ‘rules-based order’ cannot deny it”, Zakharova added. She specifically called out German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s recent statement that such a deployment would be “totally unacceptable” which Serbia criticized as “absurd.”
We will continue to support Belgrade in defending legitimate national interests regarding Kosovo based on UNSCR 1244, which remains in force without any exceptions.
Instead of pressuring ethnic Albanians to abide by signed agreements, the US and EU have “obviously sabotaged” the Brussels document, while preferring “vicious practice” to intimidate and blame Kosovo Serbs, Zakharova noted.
Last month, Brussels and Washington succeeded in persuading Pristina to abandon its plan to ban Serbian license plates. The relative peace lasted less than two weeks, however, as ethnic Albanian police deployed in force in Serb-majority areas, harassing a kindergarten and a family winery.