On Saturday hundreds of people took to the streets of Sweden to protest at the country’s pro-Kosovo stance, reported the Associated Press.
Three of Sweden’s largest cities held peaceful rallies in an attempt to persuade the government not to support Kosovo’s recent declaration of independence.
The Serbian Youth Organization in Sweden was the main group behind the demonstrations, which took place in Stockholm, Goteborg and Malmo. The event began at 12.44 local time, echoing UN Resolution 1244 recognising the sovereignty of Serbia.
In Stockholm, police estimated that there were around 600 demonstrators. Among them were many Serbians as well as Swedish, Greek and Cypriot protesters. An estimated 600 people also took to the streets of Goteborg despite the rain, whilst around 500 rallied in Malmo.
Since Kosovo’s declaration of independence on February 17th, 22 nations have officially recognised Kosovo as a nation. Sweden has not yet officially declared its support though it is expected to do so following a meeting of the parliamentary committee this week.
Serbia has publicly rejected Kosovo’s claim to independence, considering that the territory is part of its sacred heartland.
One protestor, a 32-year-old second-generation Serb living in Sweden, said “Kosovo is the cultural and historic cradle for Serbia.”
“The way things are right now — one side has won everything, while the other has been totally degraded,” he said. “There has to be a solution that both parties can sign.”