Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the recurrence of anti-Serb violence in Kosovo
On October 13, Kosovo special forces equipped with heavy weapons and supported by armour again invaded Serb-populated areas in northern Kosovo. This breached the agreements placed on record with EU participation a couple of weeks ago, when it proved barely possible to avert a large-scale conflict that had been originally provoked by Pristina. This time there were dozens of victims and one Serb was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound.
Thus, we are witnessing a demonstrative unwillingness on the part of the Kosovo Albanians to give up their aggressive plans aimed at clearing this territory from non-Albanian residents by creating unbearable conditions of existence for them. It is clear that the radical “government” headed by Albin Kurti does not feel bound by any commitments and openly disregards even those in the West who continue to lobby for the international legitimisation of Kosovo’s unlawful unilateral independence.
We resolutely condemn the excesses masterminded by the Kosovo Albanian leaders, who feel their impunity and use any pretext to incite a surge of anti-Serb sentiments in local society ahead of the October 17 municipal elections and thus gain an advantage for the intractable ultra-nationalist forces.
We would like to warn Pristina that its policy, combined with the vague reaction of its foreign sponsors, is inevitably provoking a slide into an open clash and destroying the prerequisites for continuing the already stalled dialogue between the sides.
We urge the Kosovo Force to implement its mandate under UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and bring to heel the rampaging Kosovo Albanian radicals. We would like to point out that the NATO-led international contingent is fully responsible for maintaining peace and security in the region.