Serbia keeps its military on standby. Vucic: The hardest night of my life is ahead of me
- Serbs in Kosovo must trust NATO KFOR until proven otherwise, Vucic said
- He said that the last day was the most difficult moment for him since he became president of Serbia. “The hardest night is ahead of me,” he added
- An important part of the peacekeeping forces in Kosovo are Poles. That’s over 350 soldiers and policemen
- More important information can be found on the Onet home page
“It is important that we call on both Albanians and Serbs to keep the peace, to calm down the situation. I call on the Serbs in the north of Kosovo not to fall for the provocations,” Vucic said. At this point, he warned against the possibility of a “false flag” operation, in which Kosovo forces impersonating Serbs would attack international forces.
Until proven otherwise, the Serbs in Kosovo must trust NATO’s KFOR peacekeepers. We hope that they will guarantee security. If that doesn’t happen, everything will be clear to us right away,” the president said Serbia.
At the same time, he announced that the last day was the most difficult moment for him since he became president of Serbia. “The hardest night is ahead of me,” he added.
Before the meeting of the National Security Council, the Serbian government announced that the Kosovo authorities wanted to send special police units in the coming hours to dismantle road barricades in the north of the country and “persecute the Serbian population”.
Later, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti indeed announced that he expected the barricades to be dismantled by the end of the day. Otherwise, he announced the use of law enforcement. In previous statements, he expressed the expectation of assistance in these activities from NATO and EU peacekeepers.
Vucic, referring to his contact with the KFOR command, assured in the evening that Kosovo would not commit any violent actions against the demonstrators.
Kosovo’s Serbian minority began erecting barricades on Saturday after the arrest of former ethnic Serb police officer Dejan Pantic, who was allegedly attacking state buildings and breaking windows in an election commission office.
The AFP agency points out that tensions have increased in the past week in connection with the local elections scheduled for December 16. Kosovo’s president Vjosa Osmani was forced to move it to April 23.
Vucic announced on Saturday that Belgrade will ask NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo (KFOR) for the possibility of sending Serbian soldiers and police there.
Gunshots and explosions were heard in northern Kosovo on the night of Saturday into Sunday, but there were no reports of injuries. A stun grenade was thrown at a patrol of the European Union Police Mission (EULEX)..
Order in Kosovo is guarded by Polish policemen and soldiers. They are part of both EULEX (about 105 policemen) and KFOR (about 250 soldiers).
Tensions are rising between Serbia and Kosovo
Serbia, which lost control of Kosovo after the 1999 NATO campaign, refuses to recognize the independence of its former province, which declared independence in 2008.
The last escalation of tension between Serbia and Kosovo began more than a year ago. The reason was the decision of the authorities in Pristina on the obligatory replacement of pre-1999 Serbian license plates, which are used by about 10,000. people in northern Kosovo. At the turn of July and August this year, there were brief incidents there, after which the parties reached an interim settlement. The situation flared up again in early November, when Serbia put its army on alert.
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