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Tensions in Northern Kosovo

July 31, 2022 (EIRNS)—Tensions in Kosovo are growing as Serbians living in northern Kosovo have been protesting against requirements that they get Kosovar license plates. Fights with police have led to the closing of two border crossings with Serbia, from which country Kosovo declared its independence in 2008. Over 100 nations recognize Kosovo’s independence, not including the United Nations, Russia, China, India, or Serbia.

NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) issued a press release stating that “KFOR is prepared to intervene if stability is jeopardized in the North of Kosovo,” and that, in line with its mandate under UN Resolution 1244 of 1999, will “take whatever measures are necessary to keep a safe and secure environment in Kosovo at all times.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented on Telegram (in Russian) that

“The decision of the ‘authorities’ in Pristina to start from August 1 the application of unreasonable discriminatory ‘rules’ on the forced replacement of personal documents and registration numbers of local Serbs is another step towards the expulsion of the Serb population from Kosovo, the displacement of Kosovo Serb institutions that ensure the protection of the rights of Serbian residents.... The Kosovar leaders know that the Serbs will not remain indifferent when it comes to a direct attack on their freedoms, and they deliberately escalate in order to launch a military scenario.”

“We call on Pristina and the U.S. and EU behind it to stop provocations and respect the rights of Serbs in Kosovo,” she demanded, before concluding: “This development of events is yet another evidence of the failure of the mediation mission of the European Union. This is also an example of what place Serbia has been prepared for in the European Union by offering Belgrade to de facto put up with the lack of rights of its compatriots.” Serbia is a candidate for EU membership.

Perhaps worth noting is that on July 26, the President and Prime Minister of Kosovo met with Secretary of State Blinken in Washington.

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