Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti said he offered US and EU envoys a safe and stable way out of the crisis in northern Kosovo that was, in his opinion, caused by Serbian illegal and parallel structures.
“Rule of law comes first. We have ten or so NATO and Kosovo police members and journalists who were victims of unprecedented brutality by violent extremists and criminal groups. I mentioned 33 names in the Kosovo Parliament, five of them are in prison, the others are not. And all those criminals, violent extremists, who behaved like fascist militia that day, should be brought to justice as soon as possible. Some of them came to Kosovo from Serbia,” Kurti told the media.
Following the April elections, supported and accompanied by the police, the newly elected mayors entered the municipal administration buildings in Zvecan, Leposavic and Zubin Potok, which triggered protests and demonstrations that in some cases turned into violence.
Kurti reiterated that criminal groups must be brought to justice for the crimes that they committed, such as torching cars, injuring people using firearms, stun grenades and hand grenades.
Police presence in these municipalities could be reduced if these groups are removed and an end is put to the riots.
Only then could engagement in the process of organizing democratic elections follow, he added.
“So, yes, new elections, early elections, but only after rule of law and after ground has been prepared,” said Kurti.
He explained that preparing ground for early elections in the Serb majority municipalities in northern Kosovo implies ensuring a free, fair and democratic election campaign.
“I am ready for talks but I repeat, we will never hand over our democratic republic, our independent state, sovereign Kosovo, at any cost, to the fascist militia, to those criminal groups and extremists,” said Kurti.
The Kosovo Prime Minister admitted to challenges in relations with US Special Envoy for the Western Balkans Gabriel Escobar and European Union (EU) Special Envoy for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue Miroslav Lajcak, but added he was confident they will manage to settle their differences.