Prishtina, Kosovo – | 01 Jan 2022 (Tirana Echo) – Kosovo has announced it is expelling a Russian diplomat on national security grounds. The announcement was made public by Kosovo’s new Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla-Schwarz through social netoworks.
“At the request of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Albin Kurti, I have issued the decision to declare a Russian UNMIK official in Kosovo persona non grata because of his harmful activity,” Gervalla-Schwarz wrote.
The Foreign Minister said she had informed the relevant law enforcement agencies to execute the order while the name of the diplomat and the concrete acts for which he/she was being expelled have not been made public.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, ten years after the 1998 Kosovo war which culminated with the military intervention of NATO against Serbia, in order to protect hundreds of thousands of innocent Albanian speaking Kosovan victims chased from their homes.
Following the intervention, the international community set up the UNMIK (United Nations Mission in Kosovo) which was tasked with providing temporary administrative duties in the region. The focus of its work has shifted following the independence of the new Balkan country.
Serbia, as well as five EU member states have yet to recognize Kosovo as an independent state. Russia supports Serbia and does not recognize Kosovo.
The announcement comes amid regional uncertainties and secessionist troubles being stirred up in Bosnia’s Republika Serbska, reportedly following Russian interference.
Kosovo is hoping to eventually join the EU and NATO, a plan which Russia opposes.
The Foreign Minister said Russia “undermines the achievements of Kosovo” as her country seeks to join the Euro-Atlantic alliance.
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