Prime Minister Albin Kurti has reiterated his warning calls on the European Union and NATO about potential threats to the Western Balkans stability stemming from Russia’s closest ally Serbia.
In an interview for the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Kurti condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its destabilizing approach in other neighboring countries like Moldova and Georgia. He warned that Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic is a “Kremlin puppet who imitates Russia” in his approach in the region.
“The Soviet Union has transformed into an octopus, with the Russian Federation at its center and its tentacles extending in Donbass, Crimea, Transnistria, South Ossetia […] The former Yugoslavia is an octopus with Serbia at its center, a Serb entity in Bosnia, a Serbian [political] subject in Montenegro that doesn’t recognize the independence of the country, and the illegal structures in the north of Kosovo,” Kurti stated.
The prime minister drew attention to the established policy of President Vucic to strengthen relations with Russia while disregarding soft complaints by a lenient European Union, despite being a frontrunner to access the union as a member. “Serbia wants Europe’s money and Russia’s arms,” he said, also recalling a joint military exercise by Russia-Serbia-Belarus last year in defiance of a NATO exercise in the Western Balkans.
“Last year, Kosovo attended the largest NATO exercise – Defender Europe 2021 – with 350 soldiers. Serbia instead participated alongside Russia and Belarus in the Slavic Shield 2021,” Kurti recalled.
He urged the EU and NATO to prioritize the integration of his country in both organizations in order to increase regional stability.
Additionally, Kurti criticized the EU regarding the fact that some of the leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army fighting against the genocidal Serbian regime of Slobodan Milosevic are being tried for war crimes, while Milosevic’s Minister of Information during some of the most monstrous crimes committed in Europe since WWII, Aleksandar Vucic leads a EU candidate country and unbothered closely collaborates with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“They strongly fought against Serbia. We had 2,000 martyrs. It’s unbelievable to see behind bars Kosovo’s senior politicians who fought for freedom, while Vucic, former minister for Slobodan Milosevic, collaborates with Putin,” Kurti stated.
During the 10-day Srebrenica Genocide conducted by Serbian troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina, MP Aleksandar Vucic threatened NATO from the Serbian parliament: “Come and bomb us, kill one Serb and we will kill 100 Muslims. And then we will see whether the international community dares to attack Serb positions and treat the Serb people this way.”
NATO and the West did not interfere and Serbian troops killed over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys in about 10 days.
Aleksandar Vucic then became Minister of Information, heading the Serbian propaganda machine of Slobodan Milosevic during the brutal war waged against Albanians in Kosovo, in which Serbian troops killed more than 8,000 Albanian civilians and displaced 90 percent of the population.
Genocide-denier Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic now sits in talks to “normalize relations” with Kosovo, whom he vows to never recognize, while strengthening relations with Russia and China, regularly slamming the European Union’s alleged lack of support for Serbia, despite the EU being its largest donor and trading partner.
Serbia decided to not to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and refused to impose sanctions on Russia despite its obligation to align its foreign and security polity to that of the European Union before it becomes a member. Following EU pressure, it agreed to sign a UN resolution condemning the Russian aggression, but at home Vucic downplayed the signature and has never explicitly condemned Russia in public.