Kosovo decision on Beaten and Arrested Russian UN official violates international standards

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MOSCOW – The Russian Foreign Ministry has stated that Kosovo’s decision to declare the Russian official of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) persona non grata, Mikhail Krasnoschekov, beaten by the region’s forces, is a violation to international standards.

In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry recalled that on May 31 the Kosovo authorities called the Russian official of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Mikhail Krasnoschekov, “persona non grata” diplomatic immunity, was arrested and beaten violently by Albanian-Kosovo Special Force on 28 May.

The Russian man was later taken to the Kosovska Mitrovica hospital in northern Kosovo with injuries. His UNMIK colleagues have already visited him at the hospital, the media said.

His doctor revealed that Krasnoschekov received serious head injuries.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has condemned Krasnoschekov’s detention in Kosovo as an outrageous act. In addition, Moscow demands that the UN mission in Kosovo present complete information on the detention of the Russian citizen and make efforts for his release.

Subsequently, UNMIK reported that Krasnoschekov was released.

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Earlier, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had reported that a Russian UN official was attacked and detained by Pristina’s special forces amid an operation in northern Kosovo.

The Russian Foreign Ministry described the actions of the Kosovo authorities as “continuing its open policy aimed at worsening international relations in the region and contempt for international norms of diplomatic relations.”

The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said that this was “another provocation from Pristina, which seeks to intimidate and frighten the non-Albanian population and establish control over these zones by the use of force.”

The NATO-controlled international forces in Kosovo have stated that they are monitoring the situation but have decided not to interfere because it is not an operation against the Serbs, but against organized crime and corruption not only in the north, but in the entire territory of Kosovo.

Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed Serbia’s independence in 2008 and is recognized by more than 100 UN member states. Serbia, as well as Russia, China, Israel, Iran, Spain, Greece and some other countries have not yet recognized the independence of Kosovo.

Russia does not recognize Kosovo, and neither does the UN – nevertheless its mission representatives are protected under basic international norms as well as the rights of visitors to countries under international law.

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