On the eve, Russian-speaking journalists, citizens of Estonia and Latvia were detained on the south of the Serbian Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. Rodion Denisov and his wife Vera (Estonia) and Yuri Alekseev (Latvia) prepared material on the situation in this disputed territory. The police of the self-proclaimed “Republic of Kosovo” stopped their car on the way from the municipality of Partosh. Soon, the Kosovo media reported that detainees were accused of “pro-Russian activities” and “secret actions against the interests of Kosovo.”
As Rodion Denisov wrote in the social network, he concluded from the many-hour communication with the Kosovo policemen: “they do not care about the EU and freedom of speech.”
Shortly after his release, Denisov commented on the incident for the News Front – Serbia.
“We’ve been in Kosovo for a week. We went to monasteries, communicated with monks and with Kosovo Serbs. On the way back, when we were about to leave and go to Central Serbia, we were detained on the Partosh-Gnilane highway,” the journalist said. “They took the passports and took them to the police station. There for six hours they tried to interrogate us under pressure. Various questions were asked. We were accused of being disrespectful of Kosovo’s statehood, that we support the Serbs, but not the Albanians, said we must support the Albanians, because many of them had been killed, and all the Serbs are bad. As a result, we were taken to the border, were kept there for an hour, eventually released, and now we are in the city of Nis.”
Answering the question about how the Kosovars reacted to the EU passports from the detainees, Denisov replied that “they said they do not care about them”.
Rodion Denisov notes that the situation around their detention turned out to be resonant internationally.
“There was a very big support from different countries, not only from Estonia. A lot of pressure was exerted on them. From the very beginning I said to them: are you sure you want to do this? The fact is that I and Yuri are known by many, and not only in Russia, Estonia, Latvia, but also in other countries. We are members of many international journalistic organizations. And, by the way, citizens of the European Union. They said that they are not interested in freedom of speech or European norms, above all what we consider our truth, and our truth is the only one that can not be disputed, and there can be no other opinion than their”.
“They said that officially they do not forbid us to enter, but if we do, they would wait for us with handcuffs,” Denisov added.
According to him, more than the fact of detention, frustrates the restriction of personal contact with Kosovo Serbs, with whom friendly ties were established in previous trips.
“I was in Kosovo for the fourth time. I have got many friends, Kosovo Serbs, who are all very emotionally upset. And I see in what horror they live all the time, naturally, I wrote about this many times. Naturally, this is not liked by those who create such conditions. “
“I think that they knew about us, because it all began with the fact that Peter Davydov was detained at the border,” our colleague answered to the question whether he considers the event a planned action. “He was not admitted to Kosovo, although he was there about 30 times. They followed us, we also made posts about where we traveled.” And when we went back, they detained us.”
Recall last week, Russian Peter Davidov, journalist portal “Orthodoxy.Ru” could not get into the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, despite the fact that he had a Schengen visa, the presence of which requires “the Republic of Kosovo”. The author of numerous materials on Orthodox shrines was considered a threat to “public order and security, national security or international relations,” as the document says.
Prior to this, in the north of Kosovo and Metohija, a group of Russians and Serbs, family members who were traveling to visit relatives, were detained for illegally crossing the “border”.
Even earlier, on the holiday of Vidovdan on June 28, the head of the Russian-Serbian Cultural Club, Alexander Lysov, was not allowed to pass through the “Kosovo customs”, who, with a group of activists, was carrying a help to the local monastery collected in Russia. And in September of last year, journalists from the News Front, Serbia, were deported from Kosovo.