Helsinki, 13 December 2007 — OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities Knut Vollebaek says a new wave of Roma refugees is possible from Kosovo.

His comments came with regards to a possible unilateral declaration of the province’s independence. In an interview to the Austrian news agency APA in Helsinki Wednesday, Vollebaek said that many members of the Roma minority in Kosovo, “could flee to neighboring Macedonia and Montenegro if their safety is threatened, especially in the southern part of the province”.

The Norwegian diplomat said that in September he met with representatives of all nations in Kosovo and that in his report he called on both Priština and Belgrade “not to lose sight of integration of probably the most vulnerable minority in the province”.

“In Kosovo, the Roma live in small communities and they have been completely forgotten. They did not participate in the talks, as if they did not exist at all,” Vollebaek pointed out.

The diplomat added that his Commissariat is working with the authorities in Priština on future laws that should secure Roma presence in Kosovo institutions.

Source: Tanjug/B92