PRISTINA (Reuters) – Kosovo’s interior minister said on Saturday she had arrested a Russian journalist at the border on suspicion of being a spy and that security authorities were looking for “her intentions”. Interior Minister Khilal Svikla named the journalist Daria Islamova. “Many countries have proven themselves involved in spying for the Russian Military Intelligence and pretending to be a journalist,” Svikla said in a press release. Reuters was unable to verify Svecla’s accusations.
Aslamova, who works for the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, was quoted by Russian media as saying that she was released and is now in the Serbian town of Raska.
Islamova and Komsomolskaya Pravda did not address Kosovo’s accusations against her.
Svikla published on his Facebook page some photos of the journalist accompanied by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and another photo with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, among other photos. Russia is Serbia’s main ally and, like Belgrade, opposes the independence of Kosovo. Tensions between neighboring Kosovo and Serbia in the western Balkans flared up recently and escalated last week after Kosovo said it would require Serbs living in the north of the country who use Serbian car license plates to apply for plates issued by Pristina institutions. The commitment is now postponed. Serbs make up about 5 percent of Kosovo’s population, and 90 percent are ethnic Albanians. In another incident, the police said on Saturday that one of its patrols near the Serbian border was attacked in an area of the country marred by ethnic conflicts and smuggling activities. “Her attempt to enter our country, in conjunction with developments in the north of the country, clearly proves that Russia joined Serbian propaganda with the aim of destabilizing our country,” he said. Kosovo has joined the European Union and the United States in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has already imposed sanctions.
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Fatos Betsy reports; Editing by David Gregorio
Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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