Kosovo suspends Serbian telecom operator

MTS d.o.o. in Pristina
MTS d.o.o. in Pristina Copyright Euronews
By Euronews with AFP, AP
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MTS d.o.o. is owned by Telekom Serbia and has been licensed to operate in Kosovo.

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The government in Kosovo has revoked the licence of one of the country’s leading telecoms operators on the grounds that one of its executives holds a Serbian passport.

MTS d.o.o is owned by Telekom Serbia.

Telekom Serbia’s chief executive, Vladimir Lucic, said: “It is obviously the decision of the authorities currently in power in Pristina to put pressure on the company's most important investment in the territory that is owned by the State of Serbia.”

The government in Pristina defended the decision. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Trade and Industry said: “No matter how noble a company's cause, it is subject to laws which it must comply with in order to respect the democratic structures of the country in which it operates.”

The same ministry revoked the business licence of a popular television station, Klan Kosova, last month on administrative grounds, only for the decision to be overturned by a court three days later.

The closure ruling also prompted street protests from journalists, many of whom claimed the decision had been politically motivated.

The European Union said it is "attentive" to the situation regarding MTS d.o.o. in the candidate country. The European Commission told Euronews it is in discussion with all parties.

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