MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. Western countries are escalating the situation in Kosovo and Metohija in order to put increased pressure on Serbia’s political leadership, Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said.
"Western powers are methodically and repeatedly provoking escalation of the situation in the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija (Republic of Serbia) in order to put increased pressure on the political leadership in Belgrade, to force it to abandon its fundamental national interests, [and] to sacrifice friendly relations with brotherly Russia and other traditional partners," Matviyenko said, according to a statement published on the official website of the Federation Council on Friday.
She added that the direct culprits of the "rampant anti-Serb violence" in the province were in fact Washington and Brussels. "They have tolerated the Albanian ultra-nationalists for years, and today, when blood is flowing, they only pretend to be peacemakers. It shows the complete inconsistency of the West itself, which pretends to be a leader of democratic values, a bearer of prescriptions for well-being and development, but in reality is deeply mercantile and interested in subordinating the Balkans to its will and imperial interests," Matviyenko pointed out.
According to the senator, "Kosovo radicals" are bringing the situation to a new dramatic conflict in the region. At the same time the US, "with the help of NATO and a weak-willed EU," is energetically encouraging them, Matviyenko pointed out. "Flirting with Pristina leads to an increase in attacks on Serbs, further harassment of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija, and the return of large-scale ethnic cleansing," Matviyenko explained.
Situation in Kosovo
The situation in the Leposavic, Zubin Potok, and Zvecan municipalities in northern Kosovo and Metohija escalated on May 26 after Kosovo law enforcement officers tried to seize local administrative buildings in a bid to enable the new mayors of these municipalities, who were elected despite nearly the entire Serbian population boycotting the elections, to take office. On May 29, KFOR cordoned off the administrative buildings, clashing with Serbian protesters.