Kosovo declares Russian journalist persona non grata over alleged espionage

Balkans
Mon, 8 Aug 2022 9:27 GMT
Pristina bans Daria Aslamova's entry for 5 years, announces Interior Minister Xhelal Svecla.
Kosovo declares Russian journalist persona non grata over alleged espionage

Kosovo on Sunday declared Russian journalist Daria Aslamova persona non grata and banned her from entering the country for five years.

Interior Minister Xhelal Svecla announced on social media that Aslamova "spied for Russian military intelligence" and that the decision was made under the country's law on foreigners.

"Anyone who, with certain purposes or directives, violates or attempts to destabilize our country, will face without question the force of laws of the Republic of Kosovo," said Svecla.

Aslamova was detained on Saturday by Kosovar security forces at the border crossing in the north of the country, from where she tried to enter the Balkan nation.

Svecla accused her of spying for Russian military intelligence in the garb of a journalist.

Aslamova works for the Russian Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

Kosovo is the first country in the Western Balkan region to join in EU and US sanctions on Russia.

Predominantly inhabited by Albanians, Kosovo broke away from Serbia in 1999 and declared independence in 2008.

Serbia has not recognized Kosovo's independence and continues to lay claim to the territory.

Kosovo also aims to achieve full EU membership and gained a visa-free regime for the EU zone.

Serbia, Russia, and China are among the countries which have yet to recognize Kosovo's independence.

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