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Situation in Kosovo’s north degrades and causes serious concern — Russian diplomat

According to Vassily Nebenzia, Moscow considers these developments as a manifestation of Pristina’s deliberate policy toward aggravation, seeking to squeeze the Serb population out of the province

UNITED NATIONS, October 15. /TASS/. The situation in Kosovo’s northern areas has deteriorated dramatically in the past month and causes serious concern, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said on Friday.

"The situation in the northern areas of the Serbian autonomous province of Kosovo is seriously alarming. It has degraded dramatically over the past month," he said at a United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in Kosovo.

According to the Russian diplomat, Moscow considers these developments as a manifestation of Pristina’s deliberate policy toward aggravation, seeking to squeeze the Serb population out of the province.

He also slammed the Western nations for their inarticulate position on the recent developments in Kosovo. "The inarticulate reaction of the Western colleagues, who supervise and actually pander to Pristina, makes the latter think it can do anything and inevitably push the situation toward open confrontation," Nebenzia said.

Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, who represented the Kosovo Albanians at the Security Council meeting, claimed that Russia is allegedly supporting Belgrade in its "attempt to create a Serb world."

She drew attention to the visit by Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko to area adjacent to Kosovo’s administrative border. On September 26, the Russian diplomat, defense attache Alexander Zinchenko, Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic and Chief of the General Staff Milan Mojsilovic inspected Serbian army units deployed to territories adjacent to Kosovo.

According to unrecognized Kosovo’s authorities, the visit by the Russian delegation to this area was "an unprecedented, absolutely unnecessary and hostile act," Osmani said.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier that Moscow strongly condemns "the antics of the Albanian Kosovan leaders who feel impunity and use any excuse to achieve a spike of Serbophobia in the local community ahead of the October 17 elections, and use this wave to ensure a superiority of ultra-nationalistic forces, incapable of negotiation."

Situation in Kosovo and Metohija

The situation in Kosovo and Metohija escalated sharply after the Kosovan police carried out a special operation in the predominantly-Serbian northern part of the city of Kosovska Mitrovica, storming a number of stores to check the language of the documents. Hundreds of Serbs living in the city took to the streets, gathering at the location of the incident, blocking the traffic with cargo and fire trucks. The police used tear gas and flashbangs.

A similar police action happened in the city of Zvecan, where Kosovars opened fire at protesting Serbs, severely injuring one person. According to the head of the Serbian Office for Kosovo and Metohija head Petar Petkovic, dozens of people were injured by the police.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic travelled to the administrative line with Kosovo, where he met with the Serbian population of the region.