Serbian defense minister banned from Kosovo

International

In this photo taken Monday, April 23, 2018, Serbia Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin, right, walks behind Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia. Kosovo has temporarily banned Serbian officials from entering the country, triggering angry reaction from Belgrade. Vulin says the latest ban is an attempt to “cut ties” between Kosovo Serbs and Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia’s defense minister says he has been banned from entering Kosovo, denouncing its leaders as “liars.”

Aleksandar Vulin, known for his bombastic and pro-Russia stance, said in a statement Wednesday that he and military personnel from Belgrade’s military hospital wanted to visit Kosovo Serbs who live in the north of the former Serbian province.

Kosovo last week temporarily banned Serbian officials from entering the country, saying they will reverse that position when Belgrade recognizes Kosovo’s statehood.

Although the U.S. and most of the West recognize Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence, Serbia and its ally Russia do not.

Using a derogatory term in Serbia for ethnic Albanians, Vulin said Kosovo’s leaders are “liars who don’t want Serbs” in Kosovo.

He said “they want their state, their territory.”

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