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Russia calls on EU, NATO to prevent military actions in Kosovo north

RIA Novosti

19:56 09/08/2011 MOSCOW, August 9 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday called on the European Union, NATO and the United Nations to prevent a possible attempt by Pristina to regain control over Serb-populated regions in Kosovo by force.

"Unfortunately, chances are great that despite the August 5 agreements to refrain from military actions, Pristina would fall into temptation of regaining control over Serb-populated areas in Kosovo by force," ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

"We call on the EU, NATO and the UN, who have their offices in the region, to show maximum responsibility with the goal of preventing such a scenario," he added. "The concerns of residents in Northern Kosovo municipalities should not be ignored."

Relations between Belgrade and Pristina deteriorated in late July, when Kosovo sent special police forces to its Serbian-populated north to enforce a ban on imports from Serbia, but local Serbs opposed the move. Special units came under attack from local Serbs as they pulled out in the direction of the northern town of Mitrovica.

Serbs in northern Kosovo are the biggest non-Albanian community remaining in the country following the 1998-99 Kosovan war for independence.

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