Pristina’s attitude towards Serbs seems to be similar to kyiv’s towards Donbass, says Moscow ambassador to Belgrade
The ongoing standoff in Kosovo bears an uncanny resemblance to the crisis in Donbass, Russia’s envoy to Belgrade, Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, told Rossiya 24 TV channel on Monday.
“The whole situation, everything, including Pristina’s attitude towards Kosovo Serbs, resembles, albeit on a smaller scale, what happened and is still happening in Ukraine,” he said. -he adds. said the diplomat. The West also treats the ethnic Albanian government in Kosovo the same way it treats Kyiv, he argued.
Comparing the Donbass crisis to the tensions in Kosovo, the ambassador added that “Pristina’s desire… to take control of all of Kosovo, including the Serb-inhabited areas, at all costs” what’s this “dwells in the heart” of this impasse. Any further escalation would lead to more dramatic consequences, Botsan-Kharchenko warned.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is still trying to get out of this spiral of tensions “by peaceful means” and avoid turning it into a full-fledged conflict, according to the envoy.
“Pristina openly… bets on hard power, brute force”, Botsan-Kharchenko added, making a peaceful resolution “extremely difficult” reach.
NATO seized Kosovo from Serbia in 1999, following the bombing of Serbia. The United States and its allies continue to allow ethnic Albanians into the province, the Russian ambassador said recently, comparing it to their behavior towards kyiv. Botsan-Kharchenko specifically referenced former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s admission that the Minsk Accords were meant to give Ukraine time to arm itself against Russia.
Kosovo’s current government insists it can only discuss full recognition with Belgrade, something Serbia has continued to refuse. The latest standoff comes amid a major deployment of Albanian police in Serb-majority areas, just weeks after the EU persuaded Pristina to scrap a plan to ban Serbian license plates .
Belgrade accused the West of ignoring Kosovo Serb grievances and only noticing them “when they are on the barricades.” Meanwhile, Vucic on Sunday called on Serbs in the breakaway province to “be calm and peaceful” as well as to refrain from any aggressive action against EULEX and KFOR, the EU and NATO led missions stationed in Kosovo. “We will do everything to preserve peace and stability,” he added at the time.
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