UNITED NATIONS, August 22 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow is concerned over the decision of the Kosovo authorities to create a “new administrative office” in North Kosovska Mitrovica, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikita Zhukov stated on Tuesday.
“We have taken with concern the Kosovo side’s decision to create a new administrative office for the North Mitrovica the financing of which is planned also from to funds that earlier were allocated for the needs of the northern part of the city through the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK),” he said. According to the Russian diplomat, the intention of the region’s authorities to create the management body in Mitrovica “has caused a negative reaction from the Serbian population and can only lead to further destabilisation of the situation in the region in general.”
Meanwhile, the Kosovo authorities, to all appearances, are fully prepared to deploy the administration in Northern Mitrovica.
Speaking at the UN Security Council, the RF deputy permanent representative to the UN welcomed Belgrade’s readiness for a dialogue with Pristina at the top level, which was voiced by Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic who took part in the meeting. The Russian diplomat also supported the position of the country’s leadership that calls for the UN involvement in the negotiating process.
“We still proceed form the assumption that UNMIK, in accordance with the mandate received from the UN Security Council, remains the main international civil presence in Kosovo and should play the maximally active role in promoting Kosovo settlement process,” Zhukov said. He also emphasised that Moscow insists on “fulfilling by UNMIK of its responsibilities related to Kosovo’s external representation in international organisations and mechanisms.”
Pristina declared independence from Belgrade in 2008. Since then, Kosovo has been recognised as an independent state by 93 countries. Speaking at the UN Security Council, the country’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said that last week the region’s independence was supported by Chad and Mali. However, the Kosovo prime minister did not specify that there was a coup last spring in the latter and the military junta does not control half the territory of the country. Just two years ago, Serbia’s former Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic expressed his gratitude to the authorities of Mali for the support of the territorial integrity of the Balkan republic.