Kosovo Expels Two Russian Diplomats

Kosovo has ordered the expulsion of two Russian diplomats, accusing Moscow of “destabilizing” activities.

President Vjosa Osmani said on October 22 that the two diplomats at Russia’s liaison office to Kosovo were declared personae non gratae and ordered to leave the country.

Osmani said that her country was committed to countering the malign influence of Russia and its “proxies in the region,” which she accused of aiming to undermine the achievements of Kosovo, the United States, NATO, and the European Union.

“For this reason, we will continue to work closely with our American and European allies in order not to allow Kosovo and our region to fall prey to the destabilizing ambitions of the Russian Federation,” she said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear what activities prompted the government to expel the two officials.

Russia opened a liaison office in Kosovo in 2005, three years before Kosovo declared independence from Serbia.

Serbia and its close ally Russia have not recognized Kosovo’s independence.

The United States and most of the West recognize Kosovo’s independence, which was declared in 2008 following the 1998-1999 war between Serb forces and ethnic Albanian guerrillas that ended after a NATO air campaign against Serbia.