Kosovo Expels Russian Official Due To 'Harmful Activity'
By RFE/RL December 31, 2021
Kosovo has ordered the expulsion of a Russian diplomat and member of the United Nations mission in the Balkan country on national security grounds
The Kosovar foreign minister, Donika Gervalla-Schwarz, made the announcement in a December 31 post on Facebook.
"At the request of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Albin Kurti, today I issued the decision to declare a Russian UNMIK official in Kosovo persona non grata because of his harmful activity," she said.
Gervalla-Schwarz said she has notified law enforcement to implement the decision. She did not name the Russian diplomat, nor did she state what the individual allegedly did to deserve expulsion.
UNMIK stands for the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, which was set up in 1999 to provide an interim administration for the region when it was still formally part of Serbia.
Following Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008, the tasks of the UN mission shifted to the promotion of security, stability, and respect for human rights in Kosovo.
Russia, which has close ties to Serbia, does not recognize Kosovo as an independent country.
Kosovo is seeking to join both the European Union and NATO, something Russia opposes.
Kosovo in October kicked out two Russian diplomats for "destabilizing" activities.
Gervalla-Schwarz reiterated Kosovo's ambition to join NATO and the EU and said the country remains committed to battling Russian influence, "which aims to undermine the achievements of Kosovo."
Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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