Kosovo imposes sanctions, Russians amused

MOSCOW -- Kosovo joining sanctions imposed against Russia "can only cause a smile," the head of the Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, Aleksei Pushkov, has said.

(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)

His fellow Duma deputy Leonid Slutsky noted that the decision announced in Priština on Wednesday was not surprising, considering that Kosovo is completely dependent on the West.

"Bearing that in mind, there is nothing paradoxical in their orientation towards slandering Russia and anti-Russian interpretations of the events in Ukraine," he told RIA Novosit.

Outgoing Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci announced that the decision would be in place "until the circumstances change."

Albanian-language media are reporting that the foreign minister in the government in Priština, Enver Hoxhaj, said that sanctions were introduced "because of the events in Ukraine, and because of international obligations."

"Kosovo's sanctions against us can only cause a smile. Obviously, they decided to remind of their existence in this way," Pushkov wrote on his Twitter account.

Kosovo is Serbia's southern province where ethnic Albanians in 2008 unilaterally declared independence. Serbia has rejected the proclamation as illegal, and Russia does not recognize the territory as independent.

Moscow operates a diplomatic office in Kosovo as part of its embassy in Belgrade, RIA Novosti noted in its report.