US envoy slams sanctions on Kosovo over recent tensions

    WORLD  31 May 2023 - 11:12

    US Ambassador to Kosovo Jeffrey Hovenier has said that the US will impose sanctions on Kosovo over recent tensions in the north.

    Speaking to reporters on May 30 in the capital Pristina, Hovenier said the Kosovo government did not coordinate with the US regarding the actions carried out in the north where ethnic Serbs are protesting the election of Albanian mayors, Anadolu reports.

    Defender Europe 2023, the largest military exercise of NATO allies in the Balkan region, has ended for Kosovo and this will be the first of the sanctions, said Hovenier.

    He added that this crisis will affect the relations between Kosovo and the US.

    "We think this is a very urgent situation. The comparison I made is that you need to put out the fire, just like your house is on fire. Therefore, in terms of our expectations for the government to take action to pacify the situation in the north, we think that this is a very urgent situation. I don't think you'll see much patience," said Hovenier.

    In addition, Hovenier announced that sanctions such as blocking Kosovo leaders' visits to the US and stopping US lobbying activities against countries that do not recognize Kosovo's independence could be imposed.

    Hovenier asked Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti to not insist that controversial mayors work in municipal buildings and that the police units be withdrawn from these buildings.

    "We believe the government should not insist that mayors work in municipal buildings. The government managed to find alternative locations where they took their oaths. We do not understand why they could not use these alternative locations or other public buildings to perform administrative functions," said Hovenier.

    Hovvenier said that the US wants the mayors of the four majority Serb municipalities to perform only administrative functions because they do not have strong mandates.

    "There is a need for elected officials to proceed very cautiously, to accept that they do not have a large political mandate to bring about changes," said Hovenier.

    Kosovo prime minister backs new mayors

    Prime Minister Kurti on the other hand said that the new mayors have the government's full unconditional support along with the police units.

    "The Kosovo Police and the NATO-led international peacekeeping mission in Kosovo [KFOR] in the north of Kosovo are the border between violent extremists and peaceful institutions," he said.

    Kurti claimed that the elected municipal presidents are the only ones with the legitimacy to be in municipal buildings and at the service of citizens.

    "Therefore, they have our unconditional and unwavering support," said Kurti.

    The remarks came despite condemnation by the EU, US, NATO, and China as well as Germany and many other countries.

    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanded that Kosovo halt the violent measures.

    China on May 30 put its weight behind Serbia amid the Balkan nation’s renewed conflict with neighbouring Kosovo.

    At least 30 soldiers of the NATO-led international peacekeeping mission in Kosovo (KFOR) were injured on Monday in clashes with protesting Serbs.

    Tensions have gripped Kosovo with protesters and security forces clashing in the country's northern Serb-dominated municipalities over the election of ethnic Albanian mayors.

    Meanwhile, more than 53 civilians suffered injuries from shock bombs and tear gas, hospital sources said.

    Contentious mayoral elections

    Since Monday morning, Serb protesters have gathered outside the Serb-dominated Zvecan Municipality in northern Kosovo to bar newly elected Albanian mayors from entering municipal buildings.

    The protesters attempted to breach the police cordon in front of the town hall, the police said in a statement, adding that they used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

    KFOR units also used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the protesters, who did not retreat and responded with stones and sticks.

    Last month, Kosovo Serbs boycotted extraordinary local government elections for four municipalities in the country's north. Only 3.47 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots, according to the Kosovo Central Election Commission (KQZ).

    After the elections, the EU said in a statement that low turnout did not provide the municipalities with long-term political solutions.

    As tensions rose in the region, neighbouring Serbia ordered its army to advance to the border with Kosovo – which Serbia claims to be its own territory – and urged NATO to “stop the violence against local Serbs in Kosovo.”

    The EU requires Kosovo and Serbia to reach a final agreement and resolve disputes to progress in their integration into the bloc.

    Caliber.Az

    Subscribe to our Telegram channel


Read also

Pakistan refuses to participate in Ukraine Peace Summit in Switzerland

13 June 2024 - 21:09

Pope Francis to meet world leaders at G7 Summit, marking a historic first

13 June 2024 - 21:21

Russia urges Armenia to stop “endless fuss” around Collective Security Treaty Organisation

13 June 2024 - 20:14

Erdogan concerned over rise of Islamophobia in Europe Post-EU parliament elections

13 June 2024 - 20:37

Western countries hasten delivery of F-16s to Ukraine

13 June 2024 - 20:22

G7 set to announce new Ukraine loan agreement

13 June 2024 - 19:13
ADVERTS
Video
Latest news

    Azerbaijani president's aide engages in political dialogue at NATO headquarters

    13 June 2024 - 23:46

    Oil drops on inventory build

    13 June 2024 - 23:02

    Azerbaijan, Japan discuss student exchange programmes

    PHOTO

    13 June 2024 - 21:32

    Pope Francis to meet world leaders at G7 Summit, marking a historic first

    13 June 2024 - 21:21

    Pakistan refuses to participate in Ukraine Peace Summit in Switzerland

    13 June 2024 - 21:09

    Kuwait’s residents view Azerbaijan’s tourism potential at Tourism and Travel Exhibition

    13 June 2024 - 21:01

    Azerbaijan, Estonia mull bilateral cooperation during political consultations

    13 June 2024 - 20:55

    Belarus Foreign Ministry slams Armenian PM's statements as "shortsighted"

    13 June 2024 - 20:51

    EU proposes Azerbaijani gas transit to Europe via Ukraine

    13 June 2024 - 20:45

    Erdogan concerned over rise of Islamophobia in Europe

    Post-EU parliament elections

    13 June 2024 - 20:37

    Azerbaijani, Uzbek ruling parties forge strategic partnership

    13 June 2024 - 20:30

    Western countries hasten delivery of F-16s to Ukraine

    13 June 2024 - 20:22

    Russia urges Armenia to stop “endless fuss” around Collective Security Treaty Organisation

    13 June 2024 - 20:14

    Türkiye “neutralizes” 30 terrorists over past week

    VIDEO

    13 June 2024 - 20:08

    Secretariat: Armenia - still member of Collective Security Treaty Organisation

    13 June 2024 - 19:54

    US embassy urges Armenian protestors to exercise right to freedom of assembly

    13 June 2024 - 19:51

    Russia rehearses delivering tactical nuclear weapons with dummy warheads

    13 June 2024 - 19:40

    Media: Azerbaijan, Iran conduct joint anti-terror drills

    PHOTO

    13 June 2024 - 19:26

    US-Armenia strategic partnership a misstep in Southern Caucasus policy

    US pundit tells Caliber.Az

    13 June 2024 - 19:20

    G7 set to announce new Ukraine loan agreement

    13 June 2024 - 19:13

    Armenian PM underestimates leader of Belarus

    Experts’ opinions at Caliber.Az

    13 June 2024 - 19:05

    Minister: Azerbaijani gas provided roughly 20% of Greece's consumption in 2023

    PHOTO

    13 June 2024 - 18:59

    Kyiv gets nearly $100 billion-worth weapons from NATO since start of war

    13 June 2024 - 18:58

    France’s rights violations in New Caledonia highlight its resistance to UN decolonization efforts - BIG director

    13 June 2024 - 18:45

    FM: French remilitarisation exacerbates crisis in New Caledonia

    13 June 2024 - 18:44

    US, Ukrainian presidents to sign 10-year security deal at G-7 summit

    13 June 2024 - 18:29

    IOC urges to help overturn French headscarves ban at Olympics

    13 June 2024 - 18:14

    Azerbaijan sets terms for USA, EU, & Armenia in South Caucasus geopolitics

    Baku opens the Zangazur Corridor

    13 June 2024 - 18:00

    Kyrgyzstan dismantles international cybercrime ring involving Chinese nationals

    13 June 2024 - 17:48

    Türkiye confirms deal to buy US F-16s

    13 June 2024 - 17:36

    Tourist flow to Azerbaijan approaching pre-pandemic level

    13 June 2024 - 17:24

    Canada to send thousands rocket engines to Ukraine

    13 June 2024 - 16:59

    Kremlin reacts to Pashinyan's statement to Lukashenko

    13 June 2024 - 16:46

    Macron's political earthquake: France at crossroads amidst unprecedented crisis

    Navigating turbulent waters of Fifth Republic

    13 June 2024 - 16:33

    Kremlin seeks clarification on Yerevan's CSTO position

    13 June 2024 - 16:20

    Israel strikes 45 targets across Gaza Strip

    VIDEO

    13 June 2024 - 16:07

    Azerbaijan Airlines’ department, leading air navigation service providers sign agreement

    PHOTO

    13 June 2024 - 15:45

    Turkish MPs to visit Azerbaijan’s Shusha

    13 June 2024 - 15:41

    Azerbaijan’s GDP reaches nearly $30 billion as of late May

    13 June 2024 - 15:28

    FLIRT trains enhance high-speed rail network beyond Baku

    Azerbaijan's rail revolution

    13 June 2024 - 15:15

All news