Russia supports Serbia over EU-dubbed ‘terrorist attack’ in north Kosovo

Russia supports Serbia over EU-dubbed ‘terrorist attack’ in north Kosovo |

The Russian Foreign Ministry, a government spokesperson and the Russian Embassy in Belgrade have all reacted in support of Serbia over what the European Commission has called a cowardly terrorist attack in the north of Kosovo on Sunday.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, a Kosovo police patrol was ambushed by some 30 heavily armed gunmen, accompanied by armoured vehicles, leaving one officer dead and another wounded. The men fled to a local monastery, where they barricaded themselves in and traded gunfire with police for hours.

While the death toll was one officer and three terrorists on Sunday, this increased to five on Monday as Prosecutor Naim Abazi announced another two terrorists were found dead.

On Monday, just hours after the attack, Serbian President Aleksander Vucic met the Russian Ambassador to Serbia, Alexander Bocan-Harchenko. Vucic said he had informed the ambassador of the ‘brutal ethnic cleansing organised by Albin Kurti with the support of part of the international community’.

Russian government spokesman Dimitry Peskov also commented on the situation and supported Serbia.

“The situation is extremely difficult. In Kosovo, we see a traditionally biased attitude towards the Serbs… The situation is very, very tense and potentially dangerous, we are monitoring it very closely,” he said at a news briefing.

Later in the day, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a strong statement against Prime Minister Albin Kurti.

“There is no doubt that yesterday’s bloodshed is a direct consequence of Albin Kurti’s course to incite conflict and cleanse the territory of Serbs. He intends to create international pressure on Serbia to recognise the independence of Kosovo”, the statement reads.

Russia and Serbia have long enjoyed a close relationship, and Belgrade has consistently refused to align itself with EU and Western foreign policy objectives, including sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine. Instead, it has fostered closer ties, sending delegations to Moscow and signing cooperation agreements.

This included security chief Aleksander Vulin, sanctioned by the US State Department over alleged ties to corruption, destabilisation, and organised crime in the region, attending the Moscow Security Conference.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla-Schwarz called out the EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, for his choice of words when commenting on the situation in an initial statement on Sunday.

“Terrorists kill police, and you call on ‘all actors’? Now, a word of support for the police? Not even against terrorists? Did you also refer to terrorist attacks in Spain as ‘hostilities’? What a shame. How can EU members tolerate this cynicism any longer,” she asked.

Borrell’s statement called the siege “ongoing hostilities” and “attacks” and called on “all actors” to “de-escalate”, shying away from the word “terrorist”.

But a subsequent statement from Borrell referred to a “terrorist attack” and was echoed in a post by the EU Delegation in Pristina.

German Ambassador Jorn Rohde went one step further and called out Srpska Lista, the ethnic Serb political party in Kosovo, to “stop its silence and join us all in our clear stance against this murderous attack.”

Meanwhile, President Vjosa Osmani declared Monday a day of mourning for Bunjanku, with all institutional flags, including those of the US embassy and the EU delegation building, flying at half-mast. A memorial service was also held in the Albanian capital, Tirana, in one of the main squares.

Bunjanku was also declared a “Hero of Kosovo” by Osmani, who passed the honour on to his family members.

“On behalf of the citizens, I award the order “Hero of Kosovo” to sergeant Afrim Bunjaku. He has fallen heroically in defence of the country”, declared the president.

The daughter of Bunjaku gave a eulogy at his funeral, saying, “ I promise you, Dad, I will always be proud of you. I will always follow your path. We will always remember you with longing and conviction. My hero. My Dad.”

An advert in Times Square, New York, also paid tribute to the police officer and thanked the Kosovo police force for their work.

In northern Kosovo, those on the ground say the situation remains tense, and civilians are scared following the terrorist attack.

“There is a strange silence in the city. This is the most difficult moment since the war’s end,” Marko Jakšić, a lawyer and politician, told

(Alice Taylor |, Milena Antonijević |

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