BELGRADE, June 2. /TASS/. The West made a mistake by recognizing the independence of self-declared Kosovo and providing unilateral support to the Pristina authorities, Petr Bystron, a Bundestag member for the Alternative for Germany party said.
"The Alternative for Germany is extremely concerned about the escalation of violence [in northern Kosovo]. Despite the impressive military presence of the world community, the conflict between Kosovo Albanians and Serbs has not been resolved in the past 24 years. Recognizing Kosovo was a mistake, as well as the West’s unilateral support for Pristina," the German lawmaker told the Kosovo Online news outlet.
Meanwhile, he criticized the policy and rhetoric of Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti. According to Bystron, "Kurti's attempt to demonize Serbs and present them as vassals of Russia and Albanians in Kosovo as victims is inappropriate." "At the same time, this is consistent with the usual narrative of countries dominated by the US: anyone who gets in the way of American interests is immediately discredited as an agent of Moscow. The ethnocentric chauvinism preached by Kurti should be unacceptable in the European political arena, and what’s more [unacceptable] is the support of any European government," the politician pointed out.
Speaking about the situation in northern Kosovo, where the local Serbian population continues to protest Pristina's actions, Bystron said that he supported the protesters' message, but urged them to maintain restraint. "I advise them to show restraint at the protests and at the same time not to retreat from political demands. They [Kosovo Serbs] are right. The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was unjust. The forcible separation of the province of Kosovo from the territory of Yugoslavia was unjust. What is created out of injustice cannot endure. Be consistent. Kosovo is Serbia," the lawmaker said.
Commenting on the negotiation process around Kosovo, Bystron said that this has shined a spotlight on the EU’s incompetence. "In principle, dialogue is always possible. But the EU-mediated dialogue in Kosovo can be considered a failure, because Pristina neither respected nor implemented the agreements reached. Once again, the EU has shown its incompetence. It is obvious that the Serbs want the Community of Serb Municipalities as a kind of guarantor of their rights, without which it will be difficult to negotiate. The EU must find a new strategy and, if necessary, resort to sanctions. You cannot just look the other way when Pristina has refused for ten years to honor the agreements reached, as in the case of the Kosovo Pact," the deputy pointed out.
Situation in northern 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.
According to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, 52 Serbs sought medical assistance in Kosovska Mitrovica. Three of them were badly wounded. KFOR said that 40 of its troops - servicemen from the Italian and Hungarian contingents - were wounded.
Serbian Defense Minister Milos Vucevic said on Monday that the Serbian army had been put on high alert following the escalation in Kosovo and Metohija and that army units had been deployed along the administrative border with Kosovo.