Zyra e Kryeministrit

Speech of Prime Minister Albin Kurti at the joint press conference with Minister of Internal Affairs and Public Administration, Xhelal Sveçla

August 1, 2022


Honoured journalists,

Thank you for responding promptly to our invitation for this press conference. I welcome you here to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Public Administration of the Government of the Republic of Kosova.

Last night shots were fired at the Kosova Police, and nine barricades filled with armed persons stopped citizens on vehicles and on foot. Serbia’s illegal structures have become criminal gangs — more aggressive than ever. Thist is not easy for our country, as they are supported by the entire state apparatus of our northern neighbor. Dozens of serious and clear violations of the law were committed yesterday. They are now being dealt with by police and prosecutors. Fortunately, there were no casualties or injuries from the shots, as was falsely reported by some news outlets.

We request all citizens to carefully follow the official information from the Government of the Republic of Kosova, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Kosova Police.

We request all media employees not to spread information coming from Belgrade and Moscow media as news and facts without proper checking, given that they come from authoritarian states without freedom of the press.

On this occasion, allow me to thank and express my deep gratitude to the Kosova Police, particularly to the police officers who were and are still north of Ibër River, acting with the highest professionalism and the greatest courage. Their dedication is our security.

Dear journalists,

The Jarinje and Bernjak border points remain closed at the moment because the roads leading there are still blocked. At all other border points, entry-exit documents are being issued for citizens coming from Serbia, valid for 90 days. Until 12:00 today, a total of 1,501 citizens have been issued this document at the border crossings, with an average waiting time of 20 seconds each.

The Government of the Republic of Kosova reiterates its commitment that, once barricades in the north are fully removed and complete freedom of movement is restored on all roads, implementation of the two decisions of the Government no. 01/85 and 02/85, dated 29 June 2022 will be postponed until 1 September 2022. There are a total of nine barricades north of the Ibër River. We expect the barricades to be removed today. Barricades will be considered removed only when none of them remains.

All of our measures are aimed at ensuring lawfulness and democratic order, constitutionality and security for everyone, without discrimination. No measure taken by the state bodies of our Republic is based on ethnic identity, rather only based on individual and group actions and personal conduct. And they are required to be in accordance with the law. Violence will not be tolerated. Perpetrators of violence will be punished under the rule of the law, with the full force of the law.

Yesterday, I was in contact with our European and American partners and allies. I spoke with their excellencies, Josep Borrell and Jeffrey Hovenier. I would like to thank them both for their open communication and their role in the process. In particular, I highly appreciate the involved of the U.S. Ambassador, who was worried about the situation, just like the rest of us. Last night he contributed much to the mitigation of the situation, always supporting our country and government, our decisions and positions.

The Government of the Republic of Kosova will continue with an information campaign for all citizens, regarding the benefits of converting illegal license plates into legitimate and legal RKS ones (without customs tax, excise and VAT), as well as regarding the issuance of entry-exit documents at the border-crossing points with Serbia for persons presenting documents issued by the authorities in Serbia.

We understand the concern of our European and American allies about the negative effect of the disinformation campaign against our two decisions of 29 June. Therefore, we have expressed our readiness for the implementation of these decisions to be postponed until 1 September. This postponement will take effect immediately after all barricades are removed and full freedom of movement is established throughout the north of Kosova.

I thank the citizens of our country for their patience, calm, and support. We will not allow the destabilization of our Republic’s democratic and constitutional order, and we will ensure that law and peace prevail, for the safety and well-being of all citizens, without any discrimination whatsoever.

We call on the international community, especially democratic countries, the European Union, and NATO, to condemn the violence and aggression of the criminal gangs in the north of Kosova, which are clearly instigated, supported, and financed by Belgrade authorities.

Thank you.

Last modified: August 2, 2022

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