“Northern Kosovo is not Crimea,” said graffiti sprayed in the vicinity of the student centre and the Faculty of Natural Sciences, next to the photos of Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci and the head of Russia’s state Vladimir Putin, the Beta news agency reported on Thursday.
The message followed Thaci's and Putin's brief encounter in Paris, during the marking of the end of the WWI, alluding at Russia’s annexation of Crimea which they fear could happen to northern Kosovo with the Serb majority population.
Prishtina zgjohet me grafite Thaçi - Putin / FOTO https://t.co/7ZnL0WI23V— Kallxo.com (@KallxoLive) November 15, 2018
Thaci’s first ever meeting with Putin has drawn heated reactions from the ruling coalition and opposition officials in Kosovo since Moscow has always been supportive of Belgrade in the dialogue with Pristina.
Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said Kosovo was a part of the US and European Union sphere of interest which was conflicted with the Russian interest.
He added he did not know what the goal of the meeting was.
Opposition Self-determination (Vetevendosje) party leader Albin Kurti warned Thaci the only thing he could discuss with Putin was possible asylum in Russia.
“After all the concessions he has made to (Serbia’s President Aleksandar) Vucic, Thaci has his picture taken with Putin. The only thing he can discuss with him is political asylum in Russia,” Kurti wrote on his Facebook profile.
Thaci was quoted as saying Putin told him Russia would accept any solution which both sides (Belgrade and Pristina) agreed upon.
Belgrade - Pristina dialogue had been on hold for months, and the latest meeting in Brussels earlier this month between Thaci and Vucic with the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, who mediates the talks, produced no result.