Ambassador Botsan Kharchenko: Moscow is consistent, it will not recognize Kosovo
The Russian ambassador said that he does not expect Serbia to impose sanctions against the Russian Federation
Russia's ambassador in Belgrade, Aleksandr Botsan Kharchenko, says that Moscow will not recognize self-proclaimed Kosovo and that it will remain consistent in its policy, and he also believes that Serbia will not impose sanctions against Russia.
"We demand the implementation of (UN) Resolution 1244 (on Kosovo), which should be applied, both in our opinion, and according to international law," Kharchenko told Insajder TV.
He expressed this position of Russia when asked whether the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin that the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic became independent on the basis of the precedent sset by the International Court of Justice, that was deciding on (the declaration of) independence of so-called Kosovo, means a change in Russia's position regarding the southern Serbian province.
"Kosovo is an essential issue in our friendly and brotherly cooperation and there are no signals that the Russian Federation could change its stance towards that issue," the Russian ambassador to Serbia explained, adding that it remains a precedent in international law and a unilateral and illegitimate declaration of independence - Kosovo should not be linked to the secession of Donbass.
"Citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics do not recognize the government in Kiev, which is the result of an illegitimate and unconstitutional coup," Kharchenko said, noting that they voted in a referendum to secede from Ukraine, which is not the case with Kosovo and Metohija.
The Russian ambassador also said that he did not expect Serbia to impose sanctions against the Russian Federation, and assessed as positive the refusal of Serbia to apply punitive measures against Russia.
Kharchenko reminded that Serbia, as well as its president, Aleksandar Vucic, have had a consistent position since the beginning of the Russian "special military operation" and added that official Moscow knows how to appreciate that.
He said he believes that a majority of citizens of Serbia show understanding for the Russian military operation, and assessed the insistence of the US and the EU that Serbia imposes sanctions against Russia as "incredible pressure and hostile behavior of the West towards Serbia."
The Russian diplomat did not directly answer the question by Insajder TV about how Russia would look at Serbia imposing sanctions against it, if this should happen after all, saying that he cannot talk about something that did not happen.
He also stated that Russia's decision to suspend gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland, due to the refusal of those two countries to pay for Russian gas in rubles, should not affect the inflow of gas to Hungary and Serbia through the Turkish Stream pipeline.
"We are talking about stopping the gas supply to Bulgaria, and not about the transit of gas through that country," explained Aleksandr Botsan Kharchenko, reacting to the announcement of the Bulgarian prime minister that he will review all agreements with Russia, including those concerning gas transit.
The Russian ambassador expects that the contract on gas supply between Russia and Serbia, which expires on May 31, will be renewed, and in this regard he announced talks between Gazprom and Srbijagas, the Government of Serbia and the Government of the Russian Federation, remarking that it made no sense for him to talk about the content or the result of these talks.
Speaking about the fate of NIS, in case the EU introduces a new package of sanctions against the Russian Federation which would include that company, Kharchenko said he expects the issue would be resolved within appropriate mechanisms that would protect NIS and this type of cooperation.
"Serbia is a friendly country to Russia and we continue to cooperate in all areas," Kharchenko concluded, Insajder reports.
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