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Kosovo oppn halts Parliament proceedings by throwing tear gas

Kosovo oppn halts Parliament proceedings by throwing tear gas

It was unclear who exactly threw the tear gas canister but it came from the area of benches occupied by MPs from the main opposition nationalist leftist Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) party.

Live footage from March 21 shows MPs hastily exiting the chamber as smoke billows out, apparently from multiple tear gas bombs.

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.

Kosovo opposition politicians release tear gas in parliament to obstruct a session in Pristina, Kosovo March 21, 2018.

Members of Kosovo Assembly leave the chambers. In order for it to be approved, two-thirds of lawmakers must support it.

Kosovo parliament has delayed the ratification of the border agreement reached in 2015 with Montenegro due to continuous protest and boycott from opposition parties. She said she contacted the opposition leader and called on all lawmakers to end such practices. I encourage them to vote yes for Europe.

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The opposition party Vetevendosje is adamantly against the agreement with Montenegro, signed in 2015, claiming it will wrongly surrender some 8,000 hectares (30 square miles) of Kosovo's territory to its neighbor. But a parliament majority can't be secured unless enough votes are gathered from the opposition ranks.

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

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

Kosovo, home to some 1.8 million people mostly ethnic Albanians, unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008 after a bitter war in 1998-1999.

It is not clear when the vote will now take place.

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