Croatian President: Serbia should give answers about Kosovo attack

NEWS 10.10.202315:04 0 komentara
Emica Elvedji/PIXSELL

Serbia should provide answers about the paramilitary attack by local Serbs in Kosovo, Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said on Tuesday at a press conference with Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani Sadriu, adding that the attack could not have occurred without Belgrade's knowledge.

“Our positions are clear. Serbia should give us answers on some evident things which not even a small child can miss,” Milanovic said, referring to a clash between Serb gunmen with Kosovo police in Banjska, a village in northern Kosovo, in which one policeman and at least three gunmen were killed.

“Who are they? Where are they from? Who financed them? These are all things we saw in the past and don’t want to see again. Someone is behind that and we should know who,” Milanovic said.

We are talking about nearly 100 armed men in military gear, for which you have to have the approval “of the supreme commander or at least the people close to him,” he added, emphasising that “the next such event, different in scale and magnitude,” must not be allowed.

“Those are the answers Serbia must give,” Milanovic said.

Osmani Sadriu presented evidence indicating that the attack was organised by Serbia’s authorities.

Kosovo authorities have proof that the Serbian state financed the paramilitary unit and its training, and the seized weapons could have been made only in Serbia.

Serbia has not distanced itself from the gunmen but offered them refuge after they fled Kosovo, she said.

“This seems convincing, so convincing that it demands clear counter-arguments,” said Milanovic.

Osmani Sadriu said Serbia should be sanctioned over the Banjska attack to prevent similar attacks in the future, adding that Serbia’s goal is to annex northern Kosovo. “Unless measures are taken, Serbia will feel encouraged.”

Milanovic said he was “against sanctions”, finding them against international law, unless adopted by the UN, and ineffective.

The European Commission has imposed sanctions on Kosovo, including a ban to meet with Kosovo representatives, he said, calling on EU member states’ leaders “to breach the sanctions and meet with Kosovo representatives.”

Such sanctions reflect the incompetence of European diplomacy chief Josep Borrell and “his small team,” he added.

Borrell is Spanish and Spain does not recognise Kosovo, Milanovic said. “How can you expect objectivity from someone who is Spanish and pursues the European policy on Kosovo?”

Asked if Russia was behind the attack on Kosovo police, he said the current situation suited Russia because it “destabilises things” just as the Gaza crisis, but that there was no proof of Russia’s direct influence.

Milanovic said Pristina should recognise the Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo regardless of who was in power in Serbia. “In the end, that’s within the standards guaranteed by your constitution.”

Osmani Sadriu thanked him for his strong support to Kosovo, notably for his UN General Assembly speech in which he called on all countries to recognise Kosovo.

“Croatia and Milanovic continue to be our voice in the forums where we are not present,” she said, referring to the EU, NATO and the UN.

“Kosovo was and always will be a proud ally to Croatia,” she added.

She is on a two-day official visit to Croatia at Milanovic’s invitation.

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