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Ristuća: Kurti should not use the "umbrella" of KFOR for unilateral actions

2023-06-04 15:12:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Ristu?a: Kurti should not use the "umbrella" of KFOR for unilateral

The commander of KFOR, Angelo Mikele Ristu?a, criticized Albin Kurti for the appointment of Albanian presidents in the north of Kosovo and Metohija and said that the NATO mission cannot be used as an umbrella for unilateral actions and that without the north of Kosovo and Metohija would be "another hotbed of war".

"The NATO mission cannot and should not be considered as an umbrella under which you can hide behind unilateral actions that disrupt very precarious balances," said Ristuca in an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

He added that Kurti has been advised by the entire international community not to appoint Albanian mayors who are not recognized by the Serbian majority, Euronea Serbia reports.

"Another unilateral action by the Pristina government was the use of force without consulting us, which necessitated our intervention to avoid a tragedy," Ristu?a said.

Asked by the journalist if it was a legitimate decision of the government operating in its territory, the KFOR commander said that it should not be pretended that it is a normal situation and that it is not the first time that decisions are made without prior coordination with KFOR and the parties involved.

"This is an approach that certainly does not encourage mutual trust. You always have to assess the harmful consequences of such actions. When he spoke to me, Prime Minister Kurti always agreed with this approach", said Ristuça, and when asked why Kurti didn't do that. Do so, said Kurti should be asked.

Commenting on the answer of the prime minister of the temporary institutions that Kosovo is an independent state that cannot surrender to the blackmail of bandits, the KFOR commander said that the members of the mission are concerned about the security, stability and freedom of movement of the two ethnic groups .

He stated that he does not judge political decisions, but that he has the duty to take care of their consequences, "which in such a delicate context can easily lead to escalation, as we have seen".

"The situation we are facing is the result of a series of crises accumulated over time, let's call it controlled instability, which however is becoming increasingly unstable on the ground, due to the fragility of relations between the two ethnic groups . Every balance achieved with great efforts, crisis after crisis, is becoming more and more uncertain", said Ristuça.

However, he said that the responsibility is not only on one side, but neither Belgrade nor Prishtina can capitalize on the goals achieved during the past years.

"The moment there is an agreement, it must be implemented. But without any dialogue, it remains a dead letter on paper," said the KFOR commander. He emphasized that in the last 20 years, important goals have been achieved, even when it comes to peaceful coexistence, but starting from 2021, we are moving backwards.

Ristu?a said "extremist policies" undermined stability between the two ethnic groups. Asked what is the risk of further escalation of the situation, Ristuça said that KFOR's intervention had only a short-term effect and that through diplomatic actions, Serbia and Kosovo have started to talk again.

"We hope that this time frame will be used for the start of real negotiations", said the KFOR commander./ CNA.al

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