Kosovo accuses Montenegro of encroaching on its territory
Bajram Rexhepi, interior minister of Kosovo, accused Montenegrin officials of turning a blind eye to the encroachment of its territory, according to the Friday edition of the Pristina daily Kosova Sot.
Rexhepi said Montenegrin residents had moved one of the key stones marking the border deeper into Kosovo territory. He said he had spoken to farmers whose land straddles the border zonem Xinhua reported.
"This is affecting many residents of Kosovo, who have their property in the zone, they have problems to use it," said Rexhepi.
Rexhepi said that Montenegrin officials have not responded to prior requests to resolve the border issues. Most recently, he said he sent a letter to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Montenegro last week, seeking to begin the process of border demarcation.
Besides the local land access issues, Rexhepi said that an unclear border undermines the fight against smuggling and organized crime.
"An undefined border prevents the application of the European Commission project for integrated border management, which aims to build joint facilities for the control and monitoring of borders," said Rexhepi.
Kosovo, an autonomous Serbian province, unilaterally declared independence from Serbia two years ago. Although it remains under United Nations administration, and the legality of its proclamation is being challenged by Serbia at the International Court of Justice, Kosovo was recognized by Montenegro in 2008.