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Stoltenberg: Kosovo should not take unilateral and destabilizing steps

2023-05-28 15:40:46, Kosova & Bota CNA

Stoltenberg: Kosovo should not take unilateral and destabilizing steps

The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has asked Prishtina to escalate the situation and not take "unilateral and destabilizing steps".

Stoltenberg said that he talked with the high representative for Foreign Policy and Security of the European Union, Josep Borrell, regarding the situation in Kosovo, after the increase in tensions in the north inhabited by a majority of Serbs.

"I spoke with the high representative, Josep Borrell, regarding Kosovo. Prishtina and Belgrade must now engage in dialogue mediated by the EU, as the only path to peace and normalization. Prishtina should escalate the situation and not take unilateral, destabilizing steps. The NATO mission in Kosovo, KFOR, will continue to provide a safe environment," he wrote on Twitter.

On May 26, groups of local Serbs opposed going to the offices of the new Albanian mayors of Zveçan, Zubin Potok and Leposaviq.

The new presidents were assisted by the Kosovo Police to go to their offices. But tensions rose and local Serbs threw stones at the police, who responded with stun grenades and tear gas.

The international community has condemned this action of Pristina, describing it as "forced entry" into the municipal buildings of the new mayors, who were elected in the local elections of April 23.

However, Prishtina has defended this decision, arguing that any other option would be a breach of constitutional obligations.

NATO's peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, KFOR, has previously declared that the situation in the north is "dangerous", demanding immediate escalation of the situation.

Meanwhile, the EU, which mediates the dialogue for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, has condemned the increase in tensions and has warned Pristina against undertaking unilateral actions.

In the four municipalities in the north of Kosovo, in the local elections of April 23, four new Albanian mayors were elected, since the Serbian parties did not participate in these extraordinary elections.

The elections were held after the resignation of the leaders from the ranks of Lista Serbe - the largest party of Kosovo Serbs - in November last year.

This party abandoned all the institutions of Kosovo, due to the decision of the Government in Pristina to carry out the process of re-registration of cars with illegal Serbian license plates.

The elections were boycotted by the majority Serb population in that area, which now does not accept the results, namely the new mayors.

Participation in the April elections was 3.47 percent of the total number of registered voters./ REL

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