The Russian convoy with humanitarian aid for the Serbs in Kosovo will set off in the morning of Dec. 16, at 7:00 a.m., from the Jarinje crossing to Kosovska Mitrovica, the Russian ambassador in Belgrade, Alexander Konuzin, stated after a meeting in Leposavic. 

“The final harmonization of procedure is under way,” Konuzin said. However, he did not wish to speak about the details of the operation.

He said that the plan has been developed within the triangle Moscow-Belgrade-Kosovo Serb representatives, and that contact has also been made with the EU and the Russian delegation in Brussels. “We have reached a solution – for the convoy to continue moving tomorrow (Dec. 16),” Konuzin said.

The chief of the Kosovska Mitrovica district, Radenko Nedeljkovic, stated that the Serb representatives had agreed to honor the agreement reached in Brussels in the evening of Dec. 14, i.e. that three EULEX off-road vehicles escort the convoy to Kosovska Mitrovica.

He stated that the stand towards EULEX will not change, adding that the Serbs had nothing against this mission, and that its movement in northern Kosovo “will be enabled when they return to their mandate and stop helping the Albanians install their institutions in the north of the province.”

The Russian convoy was stopped at Jarinje on Dec. 11, and Konuzin accused EULEX of trying to make a political issue out of the situation. EULEX has dismissed the accusations and said that Konuzin had first asked for, and then called-off the EU mission’s escort.

EMERCOM expects rapid solution for aid convoy

The Ministry of the Russian Federation for Affairs for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters (EMERCOM) voiced belief on Thursday that the problem with the passage of Russian convoy carrying humanitarian aid for Kosovo Serbs will be resolved as soon as possible.

We hope that the problem will be solved soon, Head of the ministry’s International Department Yuri Brazhnikov told Itar-Tass, adding that the humanitarian convoy of trucks is blocked at the administrative crossing (Jarinje) with Kosovo, ready to head towards its planned destination – northern Kosovska Mitrovica.

We expect that the trucks will pass through quickly and without problems, Brazhnikov said. The European Commission agreed late Wednesday with Russia to allow through the convoy carrying aid for the Serbs in Kosovo, Tanjug learned from Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.

The Russian ministry’s official pointed out that Russia is doing its best at the political level to create conditions for delivering the humanitarian aid to Serbs in Kosovo.

We are familiar with the UN assessments, which back the movement of the convoy with humanitarian aid necessary for preventing a humanitarian catastrophe.

The UN commissioner for humanitarian affairs also supports the Russian convoy, because everyone is reporting about the real situation there, Brazhnikov said. According to him, another Russian convoy with humanitarian aid is on its way to Kosovo.

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