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SC/13833
10 June 2019
8541st Meeting (AM)

Situation in Kosovo Fragile after Police Raid on Organized Crime Leads to Arrest, Injury of Peacekeeping Personnel, Top Political Official Tells Security Council

Twenty years after the establishment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Kosovo, the situation there is fragile, the Organization’s top political official in the region told the Security Council today, citing recent developments, including a police raid against organized crime in Serb-majority municipalities that resulted in the controversial arrest of mission personnel.

“In the absence of a genuine and necessary process of engagement between the parties to this conflict, the situation does not simply remain tenuous, but can slide backwards,” warned Zahir Tanin, Special Representative of the Secretary‑General and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), noting the lack of productive engagements between Belgrade and Pristina since late 2018.

The 100 per cent tariff that Pristina imposed on imports from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in November 2018 remains in place despite a nearly unanimous call by the international community for its removal, he said.  After the mayors of four Kosovo Serb-majority municipalities in northern Kosovo resigned in protest, peaceful elections were held on 19 May, and Serbian candidates received about 90 per cent of the vote.

Adding to those tensions, on 28 May the Kosovo police conducted a special operation, mainly in the northern municipalities, targeting smuggling and organized crime suspects, during which two UNMIK personnel were arrested and injured.  He expressed alarm that, upon their arrest, both staff members were apparently subjected to excessive force and mistreatment by the police that required hospitalization.  Relevant immunities of staff members from arrest and detention were not observed.

Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel, said that the United Nations Department of Safety and Security has carried out an internal investigation into the matter, the results of which will help establish a better understanding of the facts and determine the next steps.  He explained that, under UNMIK regulation 2000/47, mission personnel shall be immune from legal process regarding words spoken and all acts performed in their official capacity in Kosovo, stressing that such immunity is held in the interests of UNMIK — and not for the benefit of individuals themselves — with the Secretary-General maintaining the right to waive immunity if it impedes the course of justice.

Ivica Dačić, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, said the recent developments demonstrate that the international community should invest much more effort in Kosovo and Metohija.  Some Council members are calling for a strategic review of UNMIK, its scaling back or even its withdrawal, but it is hard to imagine any change in direction now.  “The risk of the worsening situation on the ground could prove costly, and I am sure that, in the context of recent developments, nobody wants to run that risk,” he said.

Regarding the 28 May incident, he said its goal was to intimidate the remaining Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.  If the Council fails to condemn it, then those Serbs will continue to be intimidated and terrorized.  He wondered how UNMIK can fulfil its mandate when its staff can be attacked.  Multi-ethnic Kosovo and Metohija has become “almost mono-ethnic”, with Serbs living in only 116 communities today, compared with 427 prior to 1999.  “What is it if not ethnic cleansing?”, he asked.  Serbia is convinced that UNMIK must remain fully engaged, with no change to its scope or mandate, he said.

Vlora Çitaku of Kosovo retorted that “Kosovo’s independence is not a product of a secessionist movement […] Kosovo’s independence is a product of decolonization”.  Noting that Kosovo is no longer in a state of crisis, as it was 20 years ago, she said that she does not see any justification for UNMIK’s continued presence there.  Regarding the 28 May operation, the Kosovo Police Service operates with the highest standards of professionalism and integrity, and has consistently proven to be a credible partner in global efforts to combat organized crime and terrorism by cooperating with international law enforcement mechanisms.  Kosovo police apprehended seven civilians who were actively engaged in creating barricades and obstructing the operation, she said.  Among them was Mikhail Krasnoshchenkov, a United Nations staff member from the Russian Federation, who erected a barricade with the sole purpose of preventing Kosovo police from carrying out their mission.

The representative of the United States emphasized that while the United Nations still has a useful role to play in Kosovo, it can be carried out by the country team.  The United States, therefore, would welcome a clear plan to phase out UNMIK.  Kosovo’s independence is a reality and both sides must proceed along their respective European paths, he stressed.  On the 28 May incident, he said the alleged involvement of UNMIK personnel is a serious concern that the United States is following closely.

The Russian Federation’s delegate said that, a week before the incident, attempts to take control of the Serb-majority municipalities in elections fell through, and a second option was the use of force.  Pristina is simply trying to discredit UNMIK.  Today’s meeting put to shame those Council members who have insisted on reducing the amount of attention to Kosovo, he said, warning that insufficient scrutiny will let impunity continue and might lead to a new bloody clash.

Many Council members called on the parties to refrain from rhetoric and actions that would undermine dialogue, with the Dominican Republic’s delegate urging parties to implement the Brussels agreement, show greater flexibility and renew efforts to resume normalization talks under the European Union’s auspices.

Germany’s delegate, warning against using Council meetings to rewrite history, underscored the Germany-France initiative to support the European Union‑facilitated process.  Stressing the need for real dialogue, not the exchange of monologues, he urged Kosovo to revoke the imposition of tariffs on goods from Serbia, and urged Belgrade to refrain from such efforts as persuading countries into retracting their recognition of Kosovo.

Also speaking today were representatives of China, South Africa, United Kingdom, France, Indonesia, Equatorial Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Belgium, Poland, Peru and Kuwait.

The meeting began at 10:27 a.m. and ended at 1:23 p.m.

Briefings

ZAHIR TANIN, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), speaking via videoconference, said that the situation between Kosovo and Serbia is again fragile.  Today’s meeting coincides with a significant anniversary — 20 years since the Council last agreed on a full resolution in response to the conflict.  Since then, progress and change has occurred in Kosovo, the region and the world.  “In the absence of a genuine and necessary process of engagement between the parties to this conflict, the situation does not simply remain tenuous, but can slide backwards,” he cautioned, noting the lack of productive engagements between Belgrade and Pristina since late 2018.

The 100 per cent tariff on Serbian and Bosnian and Herzegovinian goods imposed by Pristina in November 2018 remains despite a nearly unanimous call by the international community for its removal, he said.  Belgrade’s position is that lifting the tariff is a minimum condition for resuming talks under the European Union-facilitated format.  Leaders in Pristina have also set conditions.  In such a circumstance, leaders from all sides must exercise their responsibility to steer the complex situation away from any serious escalation.  “Engagement in good faith, without threats and ultimatums, is necessary for re-establishing the conditions for the resumption and continuation of political dialogue,” he said.  He expressed hope that the parties will work collectively to ensure that the planned meeting in July in Paris will focus on substantive matters that directly affect the lives of people and communities.  On 19 May, extraordinary elections were held in four Kosovo Serb-majority municipalities in northern Kosovo after the mayors of those municipalities resigned in protest of the 100 per cent import tax.  The elections were carried out peacefully.  According to Kosovo’s Central Election Commission, Serbian candidates already in power received about 90 per cent of the vote.  Election monitors pointed to restricted electoral competition and limited participation in Kosovo-Serb communities during the polls.

On 28 May, the Kosovo police, under warrants issued by the Pristina Basic Court, conducted a special operation mainly in the northern municipalities that targeted smuggling and organized crime suspects, he said.  During the operation, two UNMIK members – one international and one local recruit — were arrested and injured in separate incidents.  The United Nations has been carrying out its responsibility to objectively investigate the circumstances affecting its staff.  He said that relevant immunities of United Nations staff members from arrest and detention were not observed.  United Nations property was also improperly seized and searched.  Authorities in Pristina have shared very little relevant or factual evidence despite repeated requests.  After being transferred out of Kosovo to receive medical treatment, the UNMIK international staff member was publicly declared “persona non grata”, but that doctrine does not apply to United Nations personnel.  He expressed alarm that, upon their arrest, both UNMIK staff members were apparently subjected to excessive force and mistreatment by the police that required hospitalization.

Despite events, such as the 28 May incident, UNMIK continues to focus efforts and resources on achieving peace and stability in Kosovo and the region, he said.  The Special Representative said he constantly reviews the Mission’s priorities, guided by the Secretary-General’s prevention agenda, to build trust among the communities it serves through language rights, youth empowerment, gender equality, justice and intercommunity dialogue, among other areas.  On 24 May, the Working Group on Missing Persons met in Pristina and agreed to several practical steps to uncover further information needed for unresolved cases.  UNMIK will continue to work closely with international partners, including the European Union and the Kosovo Force (KFOR), as well as with bilateral actors, he said.

MIGUEL DE SERPA SOARES, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel, outlining the legal regime of immunity for United Nations staff in Kosovo, said that under UNMIK regulation 2000/47, mission personnel shall be immune from legal process regarding words spoken and all acts performed in their official capacity in Kosovo.  This immunity continues after the expiration of the mission’s mandate or after personnel are no longer employed by UNMIK.  They shall also be immune from any form of arrest or detention.  Highlighting that such immunity from legal process is held in the interests of UNMIK and not for the benefit of individuals themselves, he said it is the Secretary-General who has the right, and duty, to waive immunity in any case where such immunity would impede the course of justice and which can be done without prejudice to the interests of UNMIK.

For immunity to be effective, he said local authorities — before they take any legal action against UNMIK personnel — should inform the Secretary-General or his Special Representative of the circumstances with sufficient specificity to determine the applicability of immunity.  The Special Representative would then inform authorities whether immunity applied.  Turning to the status of Kosovo, he said resolution 1244 (1999) remains in force, and thus, the legal framework established under the resolution continues to apply.  As the arrest and detention of Mr. Krasnoshchekov and Mr. Dimovic were not consistent with their privileges and immunities as UNMIK personnel, as set forth in regulation 2000/47, he said that as far as is understood from the facts both were on official assignment to monitor police operations in northern Kosovo at the time of their arrest.  Of serious concern is that both were apparently beaten upon arrest and required medical attention upon their release.  As is required, the United Nations Department of Safety and Security has carried out an internal investigation to gather all available information and look into allegations by Kosovo authorities regarding their conduct.

“It is our understanding that both staff members are still facing the possibility of criminal legal process in Kosovo,” he said, noting that his office received a request from the Chief Prosecutor in Mitrovicë/Mitrovica for a waiver of immunity for Mr. Krasnoshchekov which — although the name is not correctly stated on the document — his office believes concerns him.  The request is made regarding charges of “co-perpetration in obstructing official persons in performing official duties” and “participating in a crowd committing a criminal offence and hooliganism”.  As for Mr. Dimovic, UNMIK has not received a request for waiver of his immunities.  He was arraigned on charges of “obstructing official persons in performance of official duties” and he appeared on 29 May with five co-accused before the Basic Court of Mitrovica, Zubin Potok Branch.  On the basis of a summary translation of these proceedings, which UNMIK forwarded to United Nations Headquarters, Mr. Dimovic’s release and that of his five co‑arraigned was decided on the basis of lack of evidence.  The results of a thorough internal United Nations investigation will help establish a better understanding of the facts and assist in determining next steps.

IVICA DAČIĆ, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, said the current situation demonstrates that the decision to reduce the number of Council meetings on the situation in Kosovo and Metohija was premature.  Reiterating his call for dialogue, he said Pristina has no plans to implement the agreement reached in Brussels six years ago, including the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities.  How can Pristina be considered a serious and responsible negotiating partner, he asked.  Discussing the “so-called anti‑corruption and anti-organized‑crime operation” two weeks ago, he said its goal was to intimidate the remaining Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.  If the Council fails to condemn it, then those Serbs will continue to be intimidated and terrorized.  He wondered how UNMIK can fulfil its mandate when its staff can be attacked.  Recent developments are evidence that the international community should invest much more effort in Kosovo and Metohija, he said.  Some Council members are calling for a strategic review of UNMIK, its scaling back or even its recall, but at the point in time it is hard to imagine any change in direction.  “The risk of the worsening situation on the ground could prove costly, and I am sure that, in the context of recent developments, nobody wants to run that risk,” he said.

Recalling that today marks 20 years since the end of the illegal bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as well as the adoption of Council resolution 1244 (1999), he said the brutal truth is that multi-ethnic Kosovo and Metohija has become “almost mono-ethnic”, with Serbs living in only 116 communities today, compared with 427 prior to 1999.  “What is it if not ethnic cleansing?”, he asked.  Acknowledging that all sides committed crimes, he said Serbia hopes that justice can still be attained.  The Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office have a massive workload before them that includes the abduction and killing of Serbs and Albanians considered to be disloyal.  He went on to recall that the international community has failed to adequately condemn the creation in December 2018 of a “ministry of defence” and a “Kosovo army”, creating the perception in Pristina that such actions enjoy tacit approval in some quarters.  “I want to warn you that, according to our knowledge, the authorities in Pristina are planning an attack on northern Kosovo and Metohija,” he said, urging the Council to stop Pristina’s “war machine” before it causes new bloodshed.  Reminding the Council that KFOR is tasked with safeguarding peace and security for everyone in Kosovo and Metohija, he asked the Council if it will do likewise, as well.

Serbia is convinced that UNMIK must remain fully engaged, with no change to its scope or mandate, he said.  To do otherwise is to raise a red flag to Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija that they cannot stay in their ancestral land, and that displaced Serbs cannot return.  It would also be tantamount to admitting that the international community, the United Nations and the Council are powerless and unable to create an environment for a peaceful end to the conflict.  Serbia hopes that is not the case and that the Mission will remain in its full capacity.  Moreover, despite international condemnation, Pristina is not in the mood to revoke the 100 per cent tariff on goods from central Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina that it imposed six months ago after its failure to become a member of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).  Serbia has done everything to normalize the situation and it firmly believes that negotiations are the only way forward, but it has no partner for serious and reasonable dialogue.  Emphasizing that “nothing has been resolved with respect to the question of Kosovo yet”, he called on Pristina to return to dialogue, which is the only alternative for the Serbian and Albanian peoples.

VLORA ÇITAKU of Kosovo recalled that UNMIK was established 20 years ago, saying that “we will never forget that it was the allied forces who stopped the ethnic cleansing and brutalization of innocent civilians in Kosovo by Serbian forces”.  It is only fitting that it was former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Future Status Process for Kosovo, who, after years of negotiations, proposed that it declare its independence.  It was well within its rights when it declared independence and did not violate international law in doing so.  “Kosovo’s independence is not a product of a secessionist movement […] Kosovo’s independence is a product of decolonization,” she said.  Kosovo is no longer in a state of crisis, as it was 20 years ago.  It has made enormous strides and is increasingly becoming more integrated into the international community, in large part thanks to the efforts of the United Nations, which, in tandem with the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), have promoted security and stability in Kosovo and the surrounding region.

However, “we simply do not see any reason for its continued presence in our thriving republic”, she said, noting that UNMIK is not an administrative mission because Kosovo governs itself, and is not a peacekeeping mission because Kosovo’s law enforcement mechanism and KFOR guarantee the safety and security of its people.  “Can anyone in this room, in all honesty, tell me what exactly the job of UNMIK in Kosovo is today?”, she asked.  The Kosovo Police Service is an organization that operates with the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.  Since its inception, it has consistently proven to be a credible partner in the global efforts to combat organized crime and terrorism by cooperating with international law enforcement mechanisms.  On 28 May, the Police Service successfully conducted a large-scale operation aimed at tackling organized crime across several municipalities in Kosovo.

Kosovo police apprehended seven civilians who were actively engaged in creating barricades and obstructing the operation.  Among those was Mikhail Krasnoshchenkov, a United Nations diplomat from the Russian Federation, who erected a barricade with the sole purpose of preventing Kosovo police from carrying out their mission.  Kosovo has been the host of countless United Nations diplomats during the past two decades.  No UNMIK employee has ever come in harm’s way in Kosovo.  “What would happen if any of us, accredited ambassadors or United Nations diplomatic personnel alike, with full diplomatic immunity, attempted to prevent an ongoing police operation here in New York?  Or in Moscow, or Berlin?”, she asked.  The combination of a medieval mindset and modern propaganda adopted by Serbia’s officials is a menace to peace, she said, adding that, to portray the people of Kosovo as inherently inferior, less than human, akin to savages, “is unfortunately no news to us”.  Expressing hope that the Council will not lie abashed and distracted before triumphant assertions of ethnic hatred.  “The invitation stands.  Come visit Kosovo and witness with your own eyes the progress that you have made possible.  As an extra treat, you will be able to see the beautiful mountains that we are so proud to come from,” she said.

Statements

WU HAITAO (China) expressed hope that the parties will put the well-being of their people first and refrain from rhetoric or action that would complicate the situation.  As things now stand, the Council must remain seized of the Kosovo issue and encourage Belgrade and Pristina to carry out a genuine dialogue within the framework of relevant Council resolutions.  Voicing support for the leadership of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, he said any interference in the work of UNMIK staff is unacceptable.

JERRY MATTHEWS MATJILA (South Africa) said that escalated tensions risk undermining any meaningful prospects for dialogue and reconciliation between Belgrade and Pristina.  They also deepen feelings of mistrust regarding political will to engage and he urged all parties to refrain from actions that will further delay the peace process.  Echoing calls for continued engagement among all stakeholders, he said the peace process should be led by political leaders and informed by local communities in Serbia and Kosovo, which will help ensure active support for intercommunity trust‑building.  Stressing that the conflict has had a significant impact on women and youth, he said responses to sexual violence in conflict situations must include survivors.  He also welcomed the role of young people in illustrating the importance of an inclusive peace process.

JONATHAN R. COHEN (United States), emphasizing that the Council must use its time and resources where the needs are greatest, said that, while the United Nations still has a useful role to play in Kosovo, it can be carried out by the country team.  The United States therefore would welcome a clear plan to phase out UNMIK.  Kosovo’s independence is a reality and both sides must proceed along their respective European paths, he said, adding that the twentieth anniversary of resolution 1244 (1999) should be a reminder to all that it is time to move on from the past.  On the incident of 28 May, he said the alleged involvement of UNMIK personnel is a serious concern that the United States is following closely.

STEPHEN HICKEY (United Kingdom) said his country supports a strategic review of the Mission.  He echoed the Special Representative’s concern about the prolonged disengagement from the European Union-facilitated dialogue and welcomed efforts by France and Germany to reinvigorate that process.  Warning that provocation actions risk future progress, he called on the parties to focus on a sustainable agreement that enjoys domestic support.  Welcoming Kosovo’s efforts to fight corruption and organized crime, he said the police operation of 28 May was a legitimate one, albeit with regrettable injuries.  He added that Council members should refrain from commenting on the case of the two UNMIK personnel, pending clarification from the Mission’s ongoing internal review.

JUERGEN SCHULZ (Germany), warning against using Council meetings to rewrite history, expressed his country’s commitment to European Union-facilitated talks.  Underscoring the Germany-France initiative to support the European Union‑facilitated process, he stressed the need for real dialogue, not the exchange of monologues.  He urged Kosovo to revoke the imposition of tariffs on goods from Serbia, and urged Belgrade to refrain from such efforts as persuading countries into retracting their recognition of Kosovo.  Regarding UNMIK, it is high time for its strategic review as the situation has changed drastically since its inception in 1999.  Many of the Mission’s original roles are now performed by other organizations.  Germany and France are working together on the ground to implement projects related to addressing conflict-related sexual violence and small arms.

ANNE GUEGUEN (France) welcomed the role of UNMIK and outlined her country’s support for lasting stability in the Western Balkans.  Noting the absence of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina since November 2018, she highlighted the holding of a summit in Berlin in April towards resuming talks.  It is essential for both sides to refrain from provocative acts, she said, urging Kosovo to repeal or suspend the 100 per cent tariffs on Serbian goods.  France supports Kosovo’s efforts to combat organized crimes, but also underscores the importance of respecting the immunities of all United Nations staff.  Stability in the Western Balkans is a European matter and it is time to conclude a legally binding comprehensive agreement.

DIAN TRIANSYAH DJANI (Indonesia) pressed all parties to exercise peaceful dialogue, as inflammatory rhetoric will only add salt to the wounds.  He expressed his country’s support for Serbia’s territorial integrity, while welcoming the important role UNMIK plays in Kosovo and its numerous projects, including an initiative to increase the participation of young people in decision-making, and community trust‑building.  The arrest of UNMIK staff members is a violation of international law and immunity agreements.  He said that his delegation shares concerns expressed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General about the heightened tensions between Belgrade and Pristina.  Peace can be sustained only if there is reconciliation.  Both sides must avoid statements to undermine conducive environments.

AMPARO MELE COLIFA (Equatorial Guinea), expressing great concern about the events of 28 May, said it is highly important for all parties to respect the rule of law and refrain from actions that would lead to an escalation of tension.  The situation in Kosovo remains a matter of concern, she said, recalling that the two sides have conducted no talks since the Council’s last meeting on the issue.  She called on the parties to intensify efforts to create conditions favourable to a constructive dialogue, acting in line with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

KACOU HOUADJA LÉON ADOM (Côte d’Ivoire) called on the Serbian and Kosovar parties to work harder, with the international community, to preserve gains and pursue dialogue.  No obstacle, however complex, cannot be overcome if the parties commit to dialogue, he said, commending the European Union for its mediation efforts.  He stressed the need to support UNMIK, which can serve as a true catalyst for reconciliation.  Emphasizing that healing takes time, he said the two sovereign States must work towards good neighborliness and ensure the well-being of their people.

JOSÉ SINGER WEISINGER (Dominican Republic) urged the parties to implement the Brussels agreement, show greater flexibility and renew efforts to resume normalization talks under European Union auspices.  He called on the parties to refrain from rhetoric and actions that would undermine dialogue.  That includes abstaining from unilateral measures, he said, noting that the 100 per cent tariff imperils peace talks.  He voiced support for a meeting in Paris between the parties next month.  On the events of 28 May, he said the facts should be clarified in a timely manner, and the truth established, so that appropriate action can be taken.

MARC PECSTEEN DE BUYTSWERVE (Belgium), explaining that his delegation will await the outcome of the internal investigation into the events of 28 May, said the two parties must abstain from actions or statements that could provoke tensions.  He called on the Kosovo authorities to revoke the 100 per cent tariff.  Emphasizing that the future of Serbia and Kosovo is within the European Union, he urged the parties to take advantage of the Paris meeting to resume dialogue.  Hopefully the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo will demonstrate the required political courage, he said, stressing, as well, the need to include women in decision‑making.

JOANNA WRONECKA (Poland) said the reduction in Council meetings on Kosovo reflects the fact that the situation on the ground is stable.  She reiterated Poland’s call for a strategic review of UNMIK, saying that a fresh assessment of its comparative advantages is obviously needed.  Looking at the overall picture in Kosovo, she said the most important issue is the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina.  She strongly urged the two sides to take a cue from Greece and North Macedonia, which were able to resolve their differences through negotiation.  She also encouraged Kosovo to end punitive tariffs, and Serbia to cease actions aimed at undermining Pristina’s international position.

GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru), expressing concern at the serious heightening of tensions in Kosovo detailed in the Secretary-General’s report, said political leaders must set an example and put the public interest first.  Relations between Belgrade and Pristina must be normalized, he said, calling on the parties to implement resolution 1244 (1999) and the Brussels agreement and to resume dialogue facilitated by the European Union.  Expressing regret at the incident of 28 May, he said that, hopefully, the facts will soon be clarified.  Governments must respect the immunity of United Nations officials, who in turn must act impartially when carrying out their functions, he said.

DMITRY A. POLYANSKIY (Russian Federation) said he carefully listened to historical fantasies stated by Ms. Çitaku.  While the incident on 28 May was not included in the Secretary-General’s report, the unlawful actions that occurred should be the focus of the Council’s meeting.  Serb municipalities were raided, and United Nations staff members were beaten while carrying out duties.  Photos and videos available online show the opposite of what was described by her.  Kosovo authorities cannot even get the last name of the arrested Russian national of UNMIK right.  A week before the incident, attempts to take control of the Serb municipalities in elections fell through, and a second option was the use of force.  Failing to protect immunity or United Nations staff will have grave consequences to the Organization.  Pristina is simply trying to discredit UNMIK.  Over the past six years, Pristina has been refusing to implement the establishment of the Association/Community of Serb Municipalities in northern Kosovo.  Today’s meeting put those Council members who insisted on reducing the amount of attention to Kosovo to shame.  A lack of sufficient Council attention will let impunity continue and might lead to a new bloody clash.

MANSOUR AYYAD SH. A. ALOTAIBI (Kuwait), Council President for June, speaking in his national capacity, urged both sides to refrain from inflammatory statements, overcome differences and work towards the normalization of relations.  While also urging Kosovo to respect diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention, he expressed his delegation’s support for the high-level European Union-facilitated process, and welcomed recent steps taken by the Kosovo government to combat corruption.  He also welcomed UNMIK’s ongoing efforts, together with United Nations country team, to implement recommendations on trust‑building measures in communities.

Mr. TANIN, replying to a question from the Russian Federation, said that an internal investigation is ongoing and it will be comprehensive and all‑encompassing.

Mr. SCHULZ (Germany) said the remarks by the representative of the Russian Federation on the European Union, NATO, those States which support Kosovo and the historical conflict, were unfortunate, unhelpful and insulting.  He added that he would refrain from going more into detail.

For information media. Not an official record.