Russia sees "lingering conflict potential in Balkans"

MOSCOW -- Russia was "deeply alarmed to learn that in the early hours of April 21 a group of armed men attacked the Macedonian checkpoint of Gosince."

(freeimages.com)
(freeimages.com)

A statement posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry's website explained that the incident happenedd on the Kosovo section of the border between Serbia and Macedonia.

Quoting the Macedonian Ministry of the Interior, the statement added that "around 40 attackers wearing camouflage uniforms marked with the emblem of the Kosovo Liberation Army tied up four policemen, whom they treated in a humiliating manner, while filming the incident with a video camera and chanting politically and ethnically motivated threats."

The criminals made it clear that this was a “warning” and then fled the scene, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted, and added:

"The incident on the Macedonian border is proof of the lingering sharp ethnic problems and conflict potential in that part of the Balkans. The situation is made worse by a major lack of law abidance and security in Kosovo, which obviously stems from the unresolved Kosovo problem in general. The calls for a Greater Albania that are heard more and more often in the region cannot be overlooked either."

"We hope that the Macedonian government’s efforts to restore order in the troubled area will receive the necessary international support," the statement concluded.