Russia, Romania “concerned by Kosovo situation”

RUSSIA, ROMANIA

The Russian and Romanian Foreign Ministries have expressed their concern with the situation in Kosovo.

Andrei Nesterenko from the Russian Foreign Ministry said that “considerable conflict potential“ persisted in Kosovo, and that he expected international community representatives to act impartially to prevent “new anti-Serb provocation.“

Nesterenko told a briefing in Moscow that events in the province “show that considerable conflict potential remains“ and that the most recent inter-ethnic clashes were a result of the Kosovo Albanians’ desire to compress Serb ethnic territory at all costs, Itar-Tass reports.

He added that the clashes highlighted the lack of progress in lifting the “ wall of alienation“ that divides Serbs and Albanians.

The Russian Foreign Ministry official said that “overall, the Kosovo problem remains one of the most serious challenges to security in the region.“

Nesterenko said that the inter-ethnic clashes in the province “are effectively a resurgence of the differences between members of the two ethnic communities, prompted by attempts by the Albanians in April and May of this year to unilaterally begin restoring their homes in one of the region’s districts, while not giving the Serbs the same rights.“

“Then, in the spring, the problem was resolved by reaching an agreement with international participation on the restoration of houses on a parity basis,“ he said, adding that the latest incidents were a result of the Albanians reneging on those principles and their wish to exert further pressure on the Serbs.

Meanwhile, the Romanian Foreign Ministry voiced its concern on Thursday about the worsening situation in Kosovo and condemned the attacks on EULEX and the violence in August.

In a release to Agerpres, the ministry gave assurances that it would continue to monitor the situation in Kosovo.

“Romania’s main goal in the region is to ensure and preserve a stable security environment,” the ministry said.

The Ministry also voiced its conviction that international organizations in Kosovo would continue to act in a decisive manner, in order to carry out their mandates and avert a deterioration of the situation.

Romania has a contingent of 150 troops in KFOR and 176 officers in EULEX.

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