The provocative actions of the authorities in the North of Kosovo lead to a deterioration of the Human Rights situation, especially for Serbs and other non-Albanians, a top Russian diplomat has said.
The plenipotentiary of the Russian Foreign Ministry for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, Konstantin Dolgov, told reporters on Tuesday that the Kosovo authorities’ actions were not improving the already difficult situation in the region.
“We insist on a large-scale investigation of all blatant violations of Human Rights in Kosovo including the facts of illegal trade in human organs that were covered in the report by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,” the Russian official said.
Dolgov also added that intimidation of Serbs and other non-Albanians, such as Boshniaks and Gypsies, but the situation with Serbs is the most dangerous as they now have to live is isolated enclaves resembling ghettoes.
The diplomat noted that the Russian view is shared by other nations and leading NGOs such as Human Rights Watch.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has earlier said that the stabilization in the Balkans was impossible without an objective investigation into crimes relating to the illegal trade in human organs in Kosovo.
"It is difficult to expect reconciliation in Kosovo or overall normalization in the Balkans without an in-depth and impartial investigation into crimes involving illegal trade in human bodies in Kosovo and punishment of the culprits, regardless of their high positions," Lavrov said in an interview with the Serb newspaper Vecernje Novosti. "We intend to continue promoting appropriate initiatives and closely following the modern and unconditional implementation of the decisions being made," Lavrov said.
Speaking about the situation in Kosovo, Russia’s top diplomat said it should be resolved in line with Resolution 1244 of the UN Security Council. "Any attempt to go around this resolution is a major violation of international law and would lead to the destabilization of the situation in the Balkans," the Russian minister said.
The Russian comments came after a fresh wave of tensions hit Kosovo earlier this month. KFOR soldiers attempted to remove the barricades built by Kosovo Serbs near two border posts separating Kosovo and Serbia. The border posts appeared in September this year and the policies of Albanian law enforcers caused outrage among mostly Serbian local population. The removal of the barricades sparked a riot in which eight KFOR soldiers and 25 civilians were wounded.
Russia has criticized NATO for provoking the Serbs in Kosovo. “When NATO suddenly starts dismantling barricades between the Kosovo and Serb sides, when NATO vehicles filled with Kosovo-Albanian policemen start cruising the streets with the clear aim of severing the last remaining communication channels between Serbia and Kosovo Serbs, then it becomes clear that NATO is exceeding its mandate. No one is going to like that,” Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin said as the riots began.
The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally announced its independence from Serbia in 2008. Russia and over 100 other UN member-states refuse to recognize Kosovo’s independence. This would mean changes in European borders as it violates the principle of unchanging state borders in Europe. Besides which, the authorities of the Kosovo Republic, comprised of warlords who fought with Serbian forces during the civil war, are accused of numerous human rights violations and crimes, including the trafficking of human organs.