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Russia Says Kosovo's Decision to Expel Two Russian Diplomats Has No Legal Basis

© AP Photo / Darko VojinovicA Serbian flag waves in front of the statue of Serbian Duke Lazar who was killed at the Battle of Kosovo in June 1389, in northern, Serb-dominated part of ethnically divided town of Mitrovica, Kosovo, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021.
A Serbian flag waves in front of the statue of Serbian Duke Lazar who was killed at the Battle of Kosovo in June 1389, in northern, Serb-dominated part of ethnically divided town of Mitrovica, Kosovo, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.10.2021
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BELGRADE (Sputnik) - The Russian Embassy in Serbia said on Friday it did not recognise the decision of the "government" of Kosovo to "expel" diplomats and considered it a provocation.
"We do not recognise the 'independence' of Kosovo, and, accordingly, the regional 'government' and other 'agencies.' For us, no 'decisions' of Pristina have legal force. On the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, we cooperate with the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), including on this issue," the embassy said.

The diplomatic mission also noted that it considers attempts to prevent Russian diplomats accredited with UNMIK from carrying out their legitimate activities absolutely unacceptable. Pristina's move was described in the statement as "a provocation against Russian diplomats."
Earlier in the day, the Kosovar Foreign Ministry declared two Pristina-based Russian diplomats accredited to the diplomatic mission in Serbia personae non-gratae, President Vjosa Osmani said.
“The structures of Kosovo are resolute in the fight against the harmful influence of the Russian Federation and its satellites in the region, which are working to destroy our achievements and those of the United States, NATO and the EU. Therefore, we will continue to work closely with our American and European allies to prevent Kosovo and our region from falling victim to Russia's destabilizing ambitions," the president wrote on her Facebook page.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it was concerned about tensions in northern Kosovo and said it was necessary to apply pressure to the Pristina administration to make it withdraw security forces from the area and prevent the situation from slipping into open conflict.
Kosovo special police officers patrol as hundreds of Kosovo Serbs protest against a government ban on entry of vehicles with Serbian registration plates, in Jarinje, Kosovo, September 27, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.09.2021
Moscow Calls on NATO, EU to Urge Pristina to Withdraw Forces From Kosovo and Prevent Escalation
In late September, Serbs residing in northern Kosovo rallied along the administrative line between the region and central Serbia against a ban on Serbian license plates imposed by Kosovo. Under the new regulation, all vehicles entering Kosovo should be equipped with temporary, Pristina-issued license plates. This provoked outrage among local Serbs. Kosovar police used tear gas to disperse the protesters at Yarine and Brnjak checkpoints.
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