Minister "again banned from entering Kosovo"

BELGRADE -- Aleksandar Vulin said on Tuesday that the authorities in Priština have placed a ban on his entering the province once again.

(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

Vulin, who serves as minister without portfolio in charge of Kosovo in the Serbian government, told Tanjug that EU High Representative in Priština Samuel Žbogar informed him that the provisional institutions in Priština have banned him from entering Kosovo.

He said he received the explanation that the he had failed to submitted a request to be allowed visit Štrpce - the largest Serb enclave in south of the Ibar River - at least 72 hours before the announced visit.

Vulin said that the request was sent on Friday, which means in time, as he was to visit Štrpce on Tuesday, and stressed that Priština is obviously continuing the policy of "conditionality," which he said was a violation of the Brussels agreement on the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Priština.

He pointed out that Priština has decided to ban him from visiting Štrpce because he is scheduled to meet with representatives of Citizens’ Initiative Srpska electoral list who are running in the second round of the local elections against representatives of the Independent Liberal Party (SLS).

The minister said that Priština has publicly supported the SLS and worked against their competition, showing in this way which Serbs it wants in power.

Vulin said that by banning him from visiting Štrpce, Priština only shows that it is afraid of electoral success of the Citizens' Initiative Srpska.

Vulin said that that he will address the EU and UNMIK representatives in Kosovo and Metohija with a request to grant him the right to visit the enclave, as they are deciding issues in Kosovo in compliance with UNSC Resolution 1244 and other relevant agreements.

The international community are obliged to enable freedom of movement, Vulin said, adding that they have to realize that it is not possible to conduct the elections, or ensure survival and safety for the Serbs in the province, without an active role of the Serbian government in Kosovo and Metohija.

In the middle of last month, the Priština authorities banned Vulin from entering Kosovo and Metohija because he was taking part in a rally staged by the Citizens’ Initiative Srpska ahead of the first round of local elections in the province.