Creation of Kosovo’s army is provocation fueling tensions in Balkans, says Putin

Vladimir Putin has said that Russia finds the Kosovo authorities’ decision to create their own army regrettable and sees it as another risk of destabilization of the situation in the Balkans.

“Regrettably, Kosovo’s authorities took a series of provocative steps lately, thus greatly aggravating the situation. In the first place I have in mind their decision of December 14 to form a so-called army in Kosovo,” Putin told a news conference. “It goes without saying that this is a direct violation of the UN resolution, which does not allow for the creation of any paramilitary forces except for the international UN contingent.”

“Such irresponsible steps by Kosovo’s authorities may cause destabilization in the Balkans,” he warned. Source: Tass

France, Germany Reportedly Against New Sanctions on Russia Over Kerch Strait Row

Austria has mulled over the possibility of new sanctions against Russia due to the detention of three Ukrainian Navy vessels that sailed toward the Kerch Strait in what Moscow has described as an unequivocal provocation committed in violation of international law. At a secret meeting of the Political and Security Committee in Brussels on Tuesday, French and German diplomats spoke out against stepping up existing EU sanctions against Russia in light of the growing rift between Moscow and Kiev over the Kerch Strait incident. Source: Sputnik