February 3, 2023

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US reaction: - Very worried

US reaction: – Very worried

Hundreds of angry Serbs gathered again on Sunday morning at the roadblocks set up on Saturday on the roads leading to two border crossings between Kosovo and Serbia.

Kosovo police say they were subjected to three armed attacks overnight on a road leading to the border, and had to respond with firearms.

EUPOL peacekeepers deployed to the area as part of the EU mission EULEX were also attacked with a stun grenade, but no one was hurt.

Tensions increased after the Kosovo authorities decided to hold local elections in the Serb-majority regions on December 18. The Serb party in the region protested, and soon after the barricades were erected, Kosovo President Fyuza Osmani postponed elections until April, without easing tensions.

condemnation of the attacks

The European Union’s foreign affairs coordinator, Josep Borrell, condemns the attacks and calls on the Kosovo Serbs to immediately remove the roadblocks.

In a joint statement, the US embassies in Pristina and Belgrade said they are deeply concerned about the current situation in Kosovo.

We encourage everyone to exercise maximum restraint, take immediate measures to de-escalate the situation, and refrain from provocative actions. We encourage the parties to work within the framework of the EU-facilitated dialogue to resolve the issues.

Implications: Josep Bordel, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, condemns the attack. Filed by Shutterstock / NTB
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Serb soldiers say they are ready

Local elections in four provinces were to fill vacant seats in the National Assembly after MPs from the Serb list resigned in protest at the government’s demand that they stop hiring ethnic Serbs or face fines.

Although Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, it was never accepted by the Serbian authorities, who continue to incite Kosovo’s Serb minority to oppose the authorities in Pristina.

A clear message: Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.  AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

A clear message: Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
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Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Saturday he would ask NATO for permission to deploy 1,000 Serb soldiers to northern Kosovo, but conceded that the request was unlikely to be granted.

After a meeting with Serbian justice authorities on Sunday, Vucic said he would do everything he could to keep the peace, but that the military was ready to protect Kosovo’s Serb minority.

Unacceptable proposal

Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti accuses Vucic of trying to destabilize the country. He also says that Vucic’s moves are aimed at undermining Kosovo’s plans to apply for EU membership.

President Osmani stated earlier in December that Kosovo will apply for EU membership before the end of the year.

German Foreign Minister Analina Berbock also said that Vucic’s actions escalated tensions in the region.

– The proposal to send Serb forces to Kosovo is totally unacceptable. So have the recent attacks on Euleax, says Burbuck.

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