Daily Koha Ditore reports on the front page that Slovenian-born Vladimir Cizelj, a dual citizen of Serbia and Israel, is leading Serbia’s lobbying campaign against Kosovo’s independence.
According to the paper, Cizelj has a “dark” past and is a close associate of Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic.
The paper quotes sources saying that Cizelj was directly involved in lobbying efforts with Suriname, the Comoros, Lesotho and Burundi to revoke recognition of Kosovo’s independence.
“He corrupted senior officials in these countries in order to have them issue fake note verbale and closed deals with dictatorships to sell Serb arms and technology produced by Vlatacom,” a source in the government of Kosovo said. Vlatacom company is based in Belgrade and was founded by Cizelj in 1997.
Cizelj is also reported to have traveled most recently to Venezuela and met the country’s foreign minister.
Kosovo’s Foreign Ministry said it was aware of Serbia’s “brutal” and “deeply destructive” campaign which “spared no means to achieve malign diplomatic goals to undermine Kosovo’s international legitimacy.”