Petition to refuse test kits from Serbia launched, Haradinaj demands investigation, Suroi – „Serbia can be a donor“

Korona Virus
FOTO: Profimedia

The Kurti-led government found itself a target of criticism of the Kosovo opposition and public over a donation by Serbia in the form of 1,000 test kits recently sent to the Kosovo Institute of Public Health in Pristina. A petition was launched to refuse the donation, while the deputy chairman of the KLA Veterans Association, Nasim Haradinaj demanded an urgent investigation by the parliamentary commission and the prosecution, and called on the Pristina Institute of Public Health to „throw the test kits in the trash“. On the other hand, Kosovo publicist and writer, Veton Suroi sees nothing wrong with this donation.

Several Pristina media reported this morning that a petition has been launched in Kosovo to „bring together all opponents of aid from Serbia“. The petition urges the Kosovo government to cancel a recent shipment of 1,000 test kits donated by the Serbian government.

„We do not trust Serbia and do not want the charity of those who burned and killed us. Serbia must be held accountable for massacres, missing persons, rapes, political prisoners and the collapse of Kosovo’s economy. By accepting this aid, we are cloaking the criminal side of Vucic and other former Milosevic subordinates with humanism. United in this petition, we urge the government to cancel this delivery immediately,“ reads a statement published by the Pristina media, which failed to specify who initiated the petition.

The statement added that part of the last shipment from Serbia included „poisoned ballots when more than 20 CEC workers were referred to the University Clinical Center“.

RTK2 picked up RTK’s report that the petition has so far been signed by journalist Fitim Ceku and political activists Granit Geci, Driton Bardeci and Endrit Zabergja.

The head of the AAK parliamentary group, Daut Haradinaj was one of many who criticized the government of Albin Kurti yesterday for accepting 1,000 test kits as a donation from Serbia. Haradinaj said that „even if his brothers would be brought back to life, he would not accept this donation.“

„We must not forget the killings and crimes that have taken place. I am angry that Montenegrins have refused and Kosovo is accepting assistance,“ Daut Haradinaj wrote on Facebook.

Haradinaj demands an investigation and calls on the public health institute to throw the test kits in the trash

The deputy chairman of the KLA Veterans Association, Nasim Haradinaj wrote on Facebook that he submitted a request to the parliamentary commission to urgently examine the admittance of 1,000 test kits from Serbia.

He also demanded that measures be taken against those who received the test kits from Serbia, taking into account that all norms and laws in force in Kosovo were violated. Haradinaj also recalled that the test kits were accepted by the Ministry of Health of Kurti’s government.

He urged the National Institute of Health to „publicly throw the test kits into the trash“ and suspend cooperation with the Kosovo government until it takes action against those who received the tests and remove them and their supervisors from office.

Until action is taken, cooperation between veterans and the Kurti government will be frozen, he added.

He also called on the Chief Prosecutor to launch a comprehensive investigation and investigate the activities of all those involved „in this shameful and grand scandal.“

PDK MP, Blerta Deliu-Kodra also reacted, claiming that the test kits were in fact smuggled.

At a press conference today, she said that accepting these test kits was the pinnacle of Kosovo’s bad decision in its relations with Serbia.

„But what gives rise to such shameful and submissive co-operation with Serbia is the fact that the test kits were smuggled, without respect for legal and customs procedures – to which all other donations to Kosovo are subject. Our country was treated as part of Serbia. The representative of the Serbian Liaison Office with Kosovo, Dejan Pavicevic brought them illegally (cf. into the country) by car with diplomatic license plates. Unfortunately, the Kosovo Liaison Office in Serbia has not even been informed of this case,“ she said.

Deliu-Kodra said her party condemned this behavior, describing it as „degrading“.

Suroi: „I don’t see a clear link between test kit donation and Serbia’s wartime activity“

On the other hand, writer and publicist, Veton Suroi presented three points which could, in his words, help solve the tension created by Serbia’s donation.

„In the Vienna negotiations for Kosovo independence, in 2006 and 2007, the Kosovo delegation insisted that any aid Serbia sends to Kosovo citizens should go through the central authorities in Kosovo. Serbia has insisted that it has the right to send funds and goods directly to various parts of Kosovo. In the end, Kosovo’s argument won, and a procedure was determined by which Serbia could be a donor, as well as all other countries.“

Suroi added that “Serbia acted in compliance with this procedure – as part of the Kosovo independence package – by sending 1,000 test kits to Kosovo authorities.”

„As has been the case with other donations, more or less throughout all these years since Kosovo declared its independence,“ he underlined.

On the other hand, Suroi does not see a clear link between the donation of test kits and Serbia’s wartime activities.

„The last time we brought up Serbia’s wartime actions was during the negotiations in Vienna. I personally raised the issue of missing and mass graves in Serbia at a meeting with the highest delegation of Serbia in Brussels, while the Kosovo delegation in Vienna also provided written material on the economic destruction of private property,” Suroi said, adding that since Kosovo declared independence, „the Kosovo president or prime minister have not addressed the issue of missing persons, victims of sexual violence during the war and the damage done by the Republic of Serbia in Kosovo.“

Finally, he said that political discourse in Kosovo is still „very poisonous even in the difficult times of the pandemic, virtually like nowhere else in the world.“

„There is no need to add more poison against different thoughts, beliefs or language,“ he added.

Serbia donated 1,000 coronavirus test kits to the Public Health Institute in Pristina on Friday, as part of the region’s co-operation in the fight against COVID-19, the spokesperson of the Kosovo Ministry of Health, Faik Hoti confirmed for KoSSev at the time. According to Hoti, on the other hand, Kosovo „allowed medical teams from Serbia to enter Kosovo periodically to provide medical services to members of the Serb community, at the request of mayors from Serb-majority municipalities.”

Kurti was then asked if the inscriptions on the shipments read „For the Republic of Kosovo“ or „For Kosovo and Metohija“ – to which Kurti replied that he does not know, telling the journalists to ask the Minister of Health, Arben Vitia.

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