Thaci opposes Russian aid to Kosovo Serbs

PRIŠTINA -- Hashim Thaci wants all Russian aid sent to the Kosovo Serbs coordinated with Priština.

According to Albanian-language daily Zeri, the Kosovo prime minister has called on Russia to consult with the Kosovo institutions in Priština if it wants to send aid to the Kosovo Serbs.

“In these circumstances, Kosovo is independent, sovereign and has legitimate institutions. Serbs are Kosovo citizens, and a part of these legitimate and democratic institutions, and everything should be handled through these institutions, once an agreement is reached,” Thaci said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that humanitarian aid would soon be sent to the Kosovo Serbs.

According to a statement from outgoing Russian ambassador to Serbia Aleksandr Alekseyev, discussions are being held with Belgrade in order to ascertain what the Kosovo Serbs require.

“Firstly, we must see what is most necessary—medicine, medical equipment, personal hygiene products. I think that it would be best to get the aid there via Serbia, and we will speak to UNMIK about this,” Alekseyev explained.

UNMIK spokesperson Alexander Ivanko said that the UN mission was ready to help Russia to give humanitarian aid to the Serb enclaves in Kosovo.

“We are ready to offer help to Russia in this matter,” Ivanko told Russian news agency Interfax.

UNMIK officials, however, have said that they have yet to receive any official request from Moscow.