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EU for banning buses: Serbia has violated the agreement on free movement

2024-04-17 15:46:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

EU for banning buses: Serbia has violated the agreement on free movement

The European Union is informed about the case of the stopping of passengers and buses from Kosovo by the authorities of Serbia and is following the situation closely. In this case, the EU finds that Serbia is violating the agreement on freedom of movement.

Peter Stano, EU spokesperson for foreign and security policy, said this to Radio Free Europe, answering questions about this case that has provoked strong reactions from Kosovo.

"We are aware of the situation and are following it closely. The agreement on freedom of movement reached within the EU-facilitated dialogue sets clear parameters for the entry and exit of Kosovo citizens to and from Serbia. The current situation represents a violation of this agreement", declared Stano.

He added that the EU "invites Serbia to refrain from such unilateral and uncoordinated actions and immediately return to respecting the agreement".

The Serbian authorities on Wednesday stopped buses with passengers from Kosovo, at the borders with Croatia and Hungary, as a "sign of revenge against the support from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for Kosovo's membership in this organization".

This is what the authorities in Pristina said, who called on the citizens of Kosovo to avoid "at all costs" the passage through Serbia, a country in which, since midnight, movement has been difficult for Kosovars.

Stano has repeated the call for both sides to respect the obligations from the dialogue.

"We expect the parties to fully implement their obligations from the dialogue, which are binding and valid. We also expect the parties to provide a suitable environment for dialogue in order to avoid any action that could endanger security and stability", says the EU's response.

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kosovo asked citizens not to pass through Serbia "after the situation created at the border points in Serbia and the arbitrary stopping of citizens of Kosovo at border crossings". .

"All travelers are requested to follow the tense security situation closely and not to travel through Serbia", it was said in the joint announcement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through a separate press release, said that a few hours after Kosovo's membership was supported in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on April 16, the institutions were informed that at the border point between Serbia and Croatia in Batrovci, the buses Kosovo, who were transiting, were stopped by the Serbian border authorities. Also, the same situation is at the crossing point in Shid.

"Citizens of Kosovo who were coming in the direction of Kosovo have also been stopped at the border with Hungary, at the border point in Subotica, at the Dheu i Bardhë border crossing [which connects Kosovo with Serbia] and are not allowed to move forward or return after", said the MPJD.

This ministry said that the passengers' personal documents, as well as those of the buses, were taken.

"Also, some of them have been taken and are continuing to be interrogated", it was said in the announcement.

Previously, the secretary of the Liaison Office of Kosovo in Belgrade, Fatmir Haxholli, through a post on Facebook, said that at least four buses with "over 300 passengers from Kosovo" were stopped in Batrovci.

The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, described as a "grave violation of human rights" the detention in the territory of Serbia of the citizens of Kosovo, who "have been deprived of food and medicine".

Otherwise, on April 16, the Parliamentary Assembly approved the recommendation for Kosovo's admission to the Council of Europe. The issue will now be sent to the Council of Ministers, which meets in May, the body that gives the final answer on a country's membership in this organization.

Serbia opposes Kosovo's membership in the Council of Europe and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Ivica Dacic, declared after the vote that his country will continue the fight "with all its forces" so that the decision is not approved at the meeting of Foreign Ministers. of the Council of Europe on May 16.

Even in the past, citizens of Kosovo passing through Serbia have encountered problems, with some of them being arrested by the Serbian authorities under suspicion of war crimes./ Rel

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