Russian ambassador visits K. Mitrovica

Russian Ambassador to Belgrade Aleksandr Konuzin was in Kosovo on Wednesday, in the northern, Serb-dominated part of the divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica.

Beta news agency reports that he stated that the Russian Federation and Serbia had good political and economic cooperation, but that it was necessary to expand it to culture and education.

Konuzin visited the temporary seat of the University in Priština in Kosovska Mitrovica and said that expansion of cooperation to culture and education was one of the priorities of the Russian embassy in Belgrade.

He spoke with Rector Zdravko Vitošević about future cooperation of the University in Priština and numerous universities in Russia.

Konuzin gave a lecture on Russia and also spoke about the current situation in Europe, especially in the Balkans.

The Russian ambassador met and talked with international representatives, diplomats and representatives of Serbs living south of the Ibar River.

The river divides the town into its ethnic Albanian southern part, and the northern, predominantly Serb area.

“Here (in Kosovo) we have a simulation of state activities. We have the Kosovo government on one hand, seemingly municipal authorities are functioning, and some elections are seemingly being held,” Konuzin said and added that this does not constitute “a state”.

“Just like it was under the patronage of the UN, Kosovo is now under the patronage of the ‘quintet’ (five western states) and ambassadors of these countries are determining the politics of so-called state of Kosovo. Crime and corruption rule in the entire territory of Kosovo, ethnic cleansing of Serbs is continuing without any military intervention, and it is impossible to solve the issue of the status under such conditions,” the ambassador was quoted as saying.

Konuzin also criticized “the international community” for inefficiency.

He added that UNMIK had to continue its work according to its mandate and UN SC Resolution 1244 ,and fulfill them completely.

Konuzin also said that he had gotten the impression after talking to EU mission in Kosovo, EULEX, representatives that the mission was not working efficiently enough and that it limited to solving of technical issues.

“Russia will continue to support Serbia as long as Serbia opposes attempts of its own dismemberment, separatism and political bombardments,” said the Russian ambassador.

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