EU calls on Kosovo: Hold extraordinary elections, the situation must calm down!

EU calls on Kosovo: Hold extraordinary elections, the situation must calm down!

The European Union has requested that Kosovo immediately suspend police operations in the vicinity of municipal facilities in the north of Kosovo, and that the elected Albanian presidents perform their functions from alternative facilities:

"The extraordinary elections should be announced as soon as possible in all four municipalities, and they should be organized comprehensively. We expect Kosovo Serbs to participate in them".

In the statement of the European Union, issued by the chief diplomat of the EU, Josep Borrell, the violence that happened in the north days ago is condemned and Kosovo is asked to take steps to reduce tensions.

"The European Union strongly condemns the violence against citizens, KFOR troops, law enforcement agencies and the media in the north of Kosovo. Violence could have been avoided, and should be avoided in the future. The European Union stands strongly behind the KFOR mission and the EULEX mission in fulfilling their respective mandates," the statement said.

"We invite both sides, Kosovo and Serbia, to immediately and unconditionally take measures to calm the situation, stop the divisive rhetoric and refrain from any other uncoordinated action. Calm must be restored urgently. The European Union is ready to implement strict measures. Failure to reduce tensions will result in negative consequences."

Local Serbs have been protesting regularly since May 29 in Zveçan, Leposaviq and Zubin Potik, to oppose the entry of the new Albanian mayors into the municipal buildings. On May 29, the protest escalated into violence between members of the NATO mission in Kosovo, KFOR, and Serbian protesters.