Thursday, December 15, 2016

Djuric arrives in northern Kosovo despite Pristina's ban

Serbian Government's Office for Kosovo and Metohija Director Marko Djuric on Thursday arrived in Kosovo, where he attended the opening of a gas station.
Source: Beta, Tanjug
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)
The NIS gas station in Kosovska Mitrovica is one of three opened in northern Kosovo, and Djuric described them as doing business there legally, "as these are economic organizations registered in both systems."
"I am glad that turnover will increase here, that a number of our people will find jobs with these gas stations that have not worked for 16-17 years," he said.

When reporters asked "whether he had been banned from visiting northern Kosovo," Djuric said he was "forced to move around Kosovo and Metohija these days like Isa Mustafa."

He was referring to the Kosovo prime minister, who recently, according to media reports, had to use "alternative roads" in order to attend a ceremony in the north, after local Serbs blocked the main road.

"I don't think this in any way contributes to normalization of relations, but I am a free man. Serbia is a free country and we here know how to guard also the heritage of personal freedoms," Djuric said, adding that by guarding his own freedom of movement, he was guarding civil and personal freedoms of all people.

"We will fight for that freedom," Djuric stressed.

He also announced he would speak during the day with Telekom Srbija representatives in Kosovska Mitrovica to inform them that Serbia's telecommunications company on Thursday received a full license to do business in the entire territory of Kosovo and Metohija.

"We will also talk about the plans to develop that company which will a few months from now take an important share of the market in the southern Serbian province," Djuric said.

He also dismissed as "nonsensical" the claims linking the opening of the NIS gas stations with "the Russian influence" - considering that the Petroleum Industry of Serbia (NIS) is majority-owned by Russia's energy giant Gazprom.

"Anything that creates new jobs is good for us, while our desire above all is for NIS, as a national brand, to be present here and to conquer new markets... that's no threat to anyone, and I'm sure that citizens of all nationalities will take advantage of favorable fuel prices, as well as of the quality that is indisputable," Djuric concluded.


Earlier in the day, a Pristina-based daily reported that the Kosovo Foreign Ministry has not approved the request of Marko Djuric to enter Kosovo.

Albanian language Koha Ditore added that the decision was made after it was learned that Djuric and and other officials "plan to visit several gas stations in Kosovo."

The Pristina-based daily reported that the Kosovo Foreign Ministry did not approve Djuric's request.

According to the newspaper's website, Djuric requested a permission to visit Kosovo, while the gas stations in question are "not licensed by the Kosovo government."

The report stresses that Djuric "can only enter Kosovo with the previous permission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, to whom he must submit a report about the agenda of his stay in the territory of Kosovo."

It was announced earlier that the director of the Kosovo Office would be in Kosovska Mistrovica on December 15 for the opening of a gas station and a store owned by the Petroleum Industry of Serbia (NIS).

The Office said that NIS would reopen three of its gas station in the north of the province after 17 years - in Zvecan, Zubin Potok, and Kosovska Mitrovica.

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