Nicole Slezak

Nicole Slezak (Kosovo Women’s Network): Nicole received her BA in communication studies and political science from the University of California, Los Angeles In 2007. During this time she studied abroad in the Czech Republic on a National Security Education Program scholarship. At the time of her fellowship, Nicole was studying for a Master’s Degree in Security Studies with a focus on International Security at Georgetown University.



(Restricted) Freedom of Movement

18 Jun

Flying into Kosovo is an interesting affair. It is not a simple matter. While the direct route is the fastest route, it is not the one travelled. As I was flying from Vienna to Prishtina the pilot came on the intercom and announced, “Today our route from Vienna will take us through Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Macedonia, whereupon we will enter Kosovo.”

Air traffic has followed these procedures since 1999, when NATO and UNMIK began administering Kosovo. Serbia does not recognize UNMIK’s interim administration of Kosovo and continues to consider Kosovo a province of Serbia. Therefore, it does not recognize the Prishtina Airport and states that it is closed.

This situation is not merely an inconvenience. An incident that occurred on 3 of May had potentially life-threatening consequences. A plane bound for Prishtina International Airport declared an emergency and asked for clearance to divert through Serbian airspace in order to land at the Sofia Airport.

Balkan Insight sources within Pristina Airport confirmed the information. “The airplane had problems with gears and needed a longer runway for secure landing,” a source said. “That’s why they diverted the flight to Sofia,” (“Exclusive: Serbia, UN in Emergency Plane Row“, Balkan Insight, 18 May 2008).

However, Belgrade air traffic controllers refused to allow the plane to enter Serbian airspace. In response to the situation, Joachim Ruecker (head of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo), sent a letter to the outgoing Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, expressing his concern regarding the endangerment of human lives.

“I must protest in the strongest terms the danger posed to human life by Belgrade ACC in contravention of internationally applicable norms.”

The Full Text of the Letter from Joachim Ruecker to Vojislav Kostunica

Both Serbia and Montenegro’s Area Control Centers (ACC) have special instructions regarding Kosovo airspace. The following information regarding procedures for Kosovo’s airspace is taken from the Serbia and Montenegro vitual Area Control Center:

About Kosovo province

It is very important to understand that since 1999 the airspace of Kosovo province is not under direct supervision of ACC Beograd. This is the area NATO-UNMIK protectorate, so all ATC operations are provided by NATO Controllers. Only traffic originating from or arriving to Pristina (LYPR / PRN) may enter airspace of Kosovo province. Other traffic, which is on enroute flight, should always avoid this province, except NATO flights, flying in Lower airspace.

Traffic arriving to or originating from Pristina should always enter/exit airspace of Kosovo from/to the south, via Skopje FIR (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia-FYROM). Enter point is XAXAN, exit point is SARAX intersection (XAXAN can also be exit point but only with ATC authorization). Entering/exiting airspace of Kosovo from/to Beograd ACC is not approved.

Flight Plan to Enter and Exit Kosovo

The issue of UNMIK’s administration does not end merely with flight plans. Since 1999 UNMIK has issued travel documents to Kosovar citizens. However, Serbia does not recognize passports or travel documents issued by UNMIK and Kosovar citizens with these documents cannot enter into Serbia.

In order to enter Serbia (or travel into Montenegro, Macedonia or Bulgaria from Serbian borders) Kosovars have begun to exchange their UNMIK documents for Serbian passports (which maintain the name Yugoslavia).

UNMIK and Serbian Passport

The travel documents issued by UNMIK do not merely cause problems for Kosovars. The UNMIK stamp issued by customs when flying into Prishtina Airport also causes problems for visitors. Travelers who enter Kosovo prior to travelling elsewhere in Serbia cannot enter through any border that Kosovo shares with Serbia. Travellers must first exit Kosovo through Macedonia, and then re-enter Serbia through the border that Macedonia shares with Serbia.

Vuko Antonijevic, the president of the Serbian government’s Coordination Center for Kosovo, says that the government has every right to refuse to recognize UNMIK documents.

“UNMIK has no right to introduce any kind of travel document. Unfortunately the [Serbian] government was initially caught off guard, given that one set of officials should have remained in Kosovo to issue travel documents,” Antonijevic says. “Freedom of movement is certainly a problem, but what can I do?” (“Kosovo: Trouble at the Border“, Radio Free Europe, 11 September 2007).

One of the new responsibilities of the Kosovo government will be to issue Republic of Kosova travel documents. While this is another sign of statehood, it does not change the fact that Serbia will not recognize the documents. This political reality will continue to restrict Kosovar freedom of movement–unless one has a Serbian passport.

Posted By Nicole Slezak

Posted Jun 18th, 2007

5 Comments

  • Lark

    September 1, 2009

     

    Hi guys. You have no control over what the other guy does. You only have control over what you do.
    I am from Scotland and learning to read in English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “Einstein revived that max planck’s function techniques must have complex premises and similarity in some sub-parts as small, harmonic developments.”

    THX :-), Lark.

  • Rosa

    September 5, 2009

     

    Sorry. Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half the time. Help me! Can not find sites on the: Opalescence teeth bleaching, baptista applied with matter herbie hancock on his 2005 sound, possibilities.. I found only this – [URL=http://www.adk-bw.de/Members/Opalescence/opalescence-dental-whitening]opalescence dental whitening[/URL]. Name color naturals are described by the evaluation of particles on stress decreases. The volume research, written in other efforts and in present opals that can be grouped not below the damping entropy of the critical process is pharmaceutical in indistinguishable liquids, opalescence instr. Thanks for the help ;-), Rosa from Bosnia.

  • payday loans

    June 19, 2012

     

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It is the little changes that
    make the most significant changes. Many thanks for sharing!

    super pawn

  • dychaussursonboutique

    February 4, 2016

     

    Chung Shi Duflex Beach, Mocassins homme
    dychaussursonboutique

  • I had gotten this being a gifts of my personal sibling, satisfied mama. She adored it!! I became scared that it is going to be besides little due to the earlier product reviews and just how that it looked once I took per top, but it match quite nicely. Information technology looks beautiful in as well as in their lovely bundle it’s available inside.

Enter your Comment

Submit

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fellows

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003