The Serbian President ordered army units to move closer to the border with Kosovo. Small groups of ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo clashed with police, writes AP.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has put the country’s military on high alert and ordered its units to move closer to the border with Kosovo. Friday, May 26, Reuters reported.
“It has been ordered to urgently transfer (troops. – Editor’s note) to the border with Kosovo”, commented the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense Milos Vucevic on the situation.
Earlier, small groups of ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo clashed with police in a bid to block entrances to municipal buildings to prevent newly elected officials from entering, AP reported. The police used tear gas and several cars were set on fire.
The situation in northern Kosovo became more complicated after the swearing-in on May 25 of the new heads of local self-government bodies – the Kosovo Albanians, Interfax reported.
According to him, columns of police armored vehicles were fired at government buildings in Kosovsk-Mitrovica, Leposavich, Zubin-Potok.
Escalation of the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo
The conflict between Serbia and Kosovo escalated in July 2022 when Pristina decided to introduce temporary documents for incoming Serbian citizens and demanded that the Serbian minority replace their old Serbian license plates with local ones. In protest, Kosovo Serbs erected barricades, after which the Kosovo authorities postponed the introduction of new rules. However, the clashes continued until December 2022.
In mid-December, Kosovo formally applied for EU membership. Serbia did so in 2009. According to the media, the West has made it clear to both countries that their prospects for European integration directly depend on the successful resolution of the conflict.