Canada: Tensions on the border of Kosovo, the NATO strength "ready to intervene"

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  Tensions à la frontière du Kosovo, la force de l’Otan « prête à intervenir » © Copyright 2022, the Obs

Police Kosovare said on Sunday July 31, that it was the target of shots in the north of the country Where barricades have been erected on roads leading to Serbia, to protest against the government's border policy. These shots did not hurt, the police said in a statement. The two crossing points were closed to traffic.

hundreds of Kosovo Serbs have massaged trucks, tanker trucks and other heavy vehicles on the roads leading to the passing points of Jarinje and BRNJAK, noted an AFP journalist. A crowd then settled around the barricades, with the intention of spending the night there.

At the end of the evening on Sunday, the NATO Kosovo force (KFOR), present on the spot since 1999, published a press release to indicate that it was following "the situation up close" and was "ready to intervene in agreement with its mandate ”in the event of destabilization of northern Kosovo.

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Faced with these tensions, the government of Kosovo has decided to postpone the entry into force of new rules on the border, after a meeting with the ambassador of the United States Jeffrey Honevier. These new rules, which were to enter into force on Monday, provide that anyone entering Kosovo with a Serbian identity card has a temporary document during their stay in the country. Pristina had also given Kosovo Serbs two months to replace the Serbian license plates from their vehicles with plates from the Kosovo Republic.

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Prime Minister Albin Kurti had specified on Sunday that it was a reciprocity measure, insofar as Serbia-which does not recognize the independence of its former province to Albanian majority proclaimed in 2008 - requires the so much of the Kosovars that enter its territory. Kosovo Serbs do not recognize the authority of Pristina, nor the independence of Kosovo, and remain loyal to Belgrade on which they depend financially.

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"Serbia will defeat"

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in a speech to the nation on Sunday evening , that the situation in Kosovo had "never been so complex" for Serbia and the Serbs who live there.

"The atmosphere has been brought to a boil," said Aleksandar Vucic, adding that "Serbia will defeat" if the Serbs are attacked.

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He was accused by Albin Kurti of triggering "disorders": "The next hours, days and weeks can be difficult and problematic" writes President Kosovar on Facebook.

Already last September, northern Kosovo had been the scene of lively tensions, after the Pristina's decision to prohibit Serbian license plates on its territory, enamelled with daily demonstrations and traffic blocking in both border posts. NATO added Sunday evening that it continued to "support the standardization process between Pristina and Belgrade".

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