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Serbia’s Vucic seeks NATO approval to ship forces to north Kosovo | Information

Serbian president stated he was underneath ‘no phantasm’ that NATO would conform to his request amid pressure in northern Kosovo.

Serbia will ask NATO peacekeepers to let it deploy Serbian navy and police to volatile northern Kosovo, though it believes there isn’t a probability of the request being permitted, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has stated.

The European Union’s international coverage chief Josep Borrell warned final month of the potential for “escalation and violence” after emergency talks between Kosovo and Serbia did not resolve their long-running dispute over car licence plates utilized by the ethnic Serb minority in Kosovo.

The proposal by Belgrade to ship its forces to the previous Serbian province — and now unbiased Kosovo — may escalate already seething tensions in the Balkan states.

Vucic advised a information convention on Saturday in Belgrade that he would make the request to deploy Serbian forces in a letter to the commander of NATO’s KFOR mission, the alliance’s peacekeeping pressure in Kosovo.

“We’ll request from the KFOR commander to make sure the deployment of military and police personnel of the Republic of Serbia to the territory of Kosovo and Metohija,” Vucic stated, including that he had “no illusions” that the request can be accepted.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic [File: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters]

The request to NATO can be the primary time Belgrade has sought to deploy troops in Kosovo underneath the provisions of a UN Safety Council decision which ended a 1998-1999 conflict and wherein NATO interceded towards Serbia to guard Albanian-majority Kosovo.

The decision stated Serbia may deploy as much as 1,000 navy, police and customs officers to Orthodox Christian spiritual websites, areas with Serb majorities and border crossings, if such a deployment is permitted by KFOR’s commander. On the time of the decision, Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008, was nonetheless recognised as a part of Serbia.

Belgrade, supported by Russia and China, has refused to recognise Kosovo’s statehood.

NATO nonetheless has about 3,700 peacekeepers stationed within the former Serbian province to stop violence between ethnic Albanians and Serbs.

‘Destabilise the area’

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s workplace stated the transfer by Serbia can be “an act of aggression” and a sign of “Serbia’s tendencies to destabilise the area”.

Vucic’s remarks come after a spate of incidents and rising pressure between Kosovo authorities and Kosovo Serbs who represent a majority in northern areas of Kosovo.

On Saturday, Kosovo Serbs exchanged gunfire with law enforcement officials within the risky north, and Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani introduced that native elections scheduled for December 18 within the space can be delayed till subsequent yr.

The gunfire broke out after Serbs blocked predominant roads within the northern area to protest towards the arrest of a former member of the Kosovo police who give up his submit final month together with different ethnic Serb officers.

Authorities in Pristina stated former policeman Dejan Pantic was arrested for allegedly attacking election fee workplaces, law enforcement officials and election officers on Tuesday.

Serb mayors in northern Kosovo municipalities, along with local judges and some 600 police officers, resigned last month in protest over a authorities determination to interchange Belgrade-issued automobile license plates with ones issued by Pristina.

Kosovo Serb police officers taking off their uniforms in the town of Zvecan, Kosovo.
Law enforcement officials take away their uniforms within the city of Zvecan, Kosovo, in November 2022 as members of Kosovo’s ethnic Serb minority resigned en masse from their posts to protest the dismissal of a senior Serb police officer who didn’t respect the Kosovo authorities’s determination to alter automobile license plates [File: Bojan Slavkovic/AP Photo]

Police stated the blockade on Saturday halted site visitors, they usually have been pressured to shut two border crossings between Kosovo and Serbia. Later, they stated they got here underneath hearth in a number of areas near a lake bordering Serbia. There have been no fast stories of accidents.

In an effort to defuse tensions, Kosovar President Osmani introduced the postponement till April 23 of native elections within the northern municipalities of Mitrovica, Zubin Potok, Zvecan and Leposavic.

The EU has additionally warned each Serbia and Kosovo to resolve their disputes peacefully and to normalise relations in the event that they wish to be thought of eligible for membership within the bloc.


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