Opposition Party Throws Tear Gas In Kosovo Parliament, Forces Evacuation

Kosovo's opposition on Wednesday held up ratification of a border agreement with Montenegro, which they regard as a sell-out, releasing tear gas at a parliamentary session called to push the deal through, according to Reuters.

But the session failed to resume for a third time with tear gas thrown again in the chamber by the opposition.

Kosovo is the only Balkan country now without visa-free access to the European Union, while its neighbours Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia gained access in 2010.

Later, police went into Parliament and forced out a small group of opposition lawmakers, who had refused to leave since the morning.

Tear gas canisters recently spewed noxious green gas inside Kosovo's parliament chambers in what officials say was a freaky stunt by opposition leaders protesting a territory deal. In order for it to be approved, two-thirds of lawmakers must support it.

"Voting for (the ratification) does not endanger Kosovo's territory", said Haradinaj, who opposed the deal before taking over as prime minister a year ago. The previous government and worldwide experts deny that claim.

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They arrived three times and scored three goals. "The special plans is to try to defend well", he told reporters. Ferdinand added: "When I went to my opponent's box and the ball came up to me, I couldn't see nearly anything".

The opposition party are so against it that party leader Levizja Vetvendosje took matters into his own hands by setting off tear gas.

A previous attempt to ratify the border demarcation agreement failed on February 22, after the government chose to turn the vote into a package, by including two additional documents. I encourage them to vote yes for Europe.

The ethnic Serb community's Serb List party with 10 seats wasn't present.

The EU commissioner for enlargement, Johannes Hahn, condemned the action in a tweet, saying: "Such behavior has no place in a democracy".

President Hashim Thaci, who signed the deal in 2015 when he was foreign minister, denounced "the risky tactics of the opponents of the visa liberalization".

The United States and 23 of the EU's 28 member states now recognize Kosovo as an independent country.

  • Megan Austin