Moscow condemns plans for EU police mission to Kosovo

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Moscow condemns plans for EU police mission to Kosovo

 

 

Russia today condemned EU plans to send a police mission to Kosovo as contravening international law amid heightened tension on the Kosovo-Serbia border.

"The EU's unilateral decision to send a mission [to Kosovo] is in breach of the highest international law," the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, told reporters in Moscow.

The EU is expected to deploy a 2,000-strong police contingent by June to oversee training and institution building, with limited rights to intervene to fight organised crime and corruption or hunt war criminals.

Russia, an ally of Belgrade, has strongly opposed Kosovo's declaration of independence on the grounds that it sets a dangerous precedent for other secessionist movements around the world.

Nato provides the backbone of security in Kosovo with its 17,000-strong Kfor force, which yesterday intervened to secure Kosovo's northern borders after demonstrations by ethnic Serbs.

The EU has a small but increasingly important presence in the region. Aside from the Kosovo mission, the 27-member bloc has 2,500 troops stationed in Bosnia which would be severely tested if tensions from Kosovo spill over into the rest of the region.

Today, UN policemen in armoured vehicles guarded smouldering border checkpoints a day after angry Serbs set them on fire in protest at Kosovo's declaration of independence on Sunday.

Serbs planned more protests today to display anger at the swift recognition of Kosovo's independence by the US and several EU countries, including France and Britain, with Germany poised to follow.

Nato peacekeepers closed the roads linking northern Kosovo and Serbia amid concern that the open border could allow Serb militants to cross over to make trouble in Kosovo, once a province of Serbia.

Thousands of mostly young Serbs chanting "Kosovo is Serbia" yesterday marched to a bridge dividing them from ethnic Albanians in the tense northern Kosovan town of Kosovska Mitrovica.

Serbian's strong opposition to Kosovo's secession has fuelled fears that the minority Serbs living in the fledgling state's north would attempt to partition Kosovo along the Ibar river. Some 120,000 Serbs remain in Kosovo, most of them north of the Ibar.

armoured – pancerny, uzbrojony

backbone – ostoja, podpora

breach of - naruszenie

chant - skandować

contravene- naruszać, łamać 

deploy - rozmieszczać

display – okazywać, manifestować

partition – podział, rozbiór

smoulder- tlić się

swift – prędki, szybki

tension - napięcie

unilateral - jednostronny

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