NATO increases its patrols in Kosovo before the stress climbing with Serbia

The strength of NATO announced this Monday that it had intensified its patrols in Kosovo after an increase in tensions in the north of the territory, on the bor

NATO increases its patrols in Kosovo before the stress climbing with Serbia

The strength of NATO announced this Monday that it had intensified its patrols in Kosovo after an increase in tensions in the north of the territory, on the border with Serbia, which sent armored vehicles not far from its old province.

The international community, headed by the European Union, requested the "despaired" and "dialogue" before this new fever outbreak between Kosovo and Serbia, who has never recognized the independence of the territory with a large Albanian majority declared in 2008.

The hard relations between the two neighbors were complicated even more a week ago when the Kosovo government sent special police units to the north, a region populated mainly by Serbs that do not recognize Pristina's authority.

Belgrade accused Pristina of "provocation" and raised the alert level of his army in the border area. According to a correspondent of AFP, he deployed four armored vehicles two kilometers from a border post on Monday while his combat aircraft fleerated an area close to the border during the weekend, for the first time in a decade from the war between Serbian forces and Albanian separatists (1998-99).

On Monday, the situation on the border was quiet despite these military movements, he added.

Special Kosovar units have been deployed to supervise Pristina's decision to force Serbian vehicles to place temporary Kosovar plates upon entering Kosovo. PRISTINA invokes a measure of "reciprocity", vehicles enrolled in the "Republic of Kosovo", not recognized by Belgrade, are forced for years to carry temporary Serbian plaques to enter Serbia.

Furious, hundreds of Serbs manifest themselves every day and block with trucks the roads that lead to the two northern border crossings, Jarinje and Brnjak.

During the weekend, two vehicle registration offices of Kosovo were white of attacks and the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, accused Serbia of wanting to "cause a conflict."

Since 1999, when a NATO bombing campaign put an end to the conflict, Kosovo has been under the international protection of KFOR.

This NATO force announced this Monday in a statement that has "increased the number and duration of its routine patrols through Kosovo, even in the north," recalling that its mission was to guarantee security and freedom of movement.

For several days, KFOR helicopter overflies in the border region have been regular.

The Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, visiting Kosovo, described the actions in Belgrade as "theatrical military maneuvers" and pleaded convinced that "dialogue is the only solution."

While the president of the European Commission, Ursula von Der Limen, is expected this week at the Balkans, Brussels also called dialogue.

"It is important that the parties feel together, put an end to verbal escalation in the region and quickly find a solution," said Diana Spinant, spokesman for the Commission.

"There are many diplomatic activities in both Brussels and on the ground," the European Foreign Affairs spokesman, Peter Stano, underlined, hoping to be held quickly in Brussels with a meeting between negotiators of the two parties.

Albin Kurti said he was willing to discuss with Serbia under the leadership of the EU, which has been orchestrating for ten years a dialogue that will supposedly normalize the relations between the two ancient enemies.

But the SERBIO President Aleksandar Vucic conditions the resumption of the process through the withdrawal of the Kosovares special forces from northern Kosovo. "We are attached to the safeguard of peace", but "in no case will we allow the humiliation of Serbia and the citizens of it," he hammered him after a meeting with Western ambassadors.

Some observers argue that the period is not conducive to a commitment, since both Kosovo and Serbia face electoral terms, local voting in October in the first national vote, the second year next year.

Updated Date: 27 September 2021, 21:56

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