According to the Kosovo side, the Serbian army moved towards Kosovo from three directions.
We call on President Aleksandar Vucic and Serbian institutions to immediately recall all units from the border with Kosovo
– can be read in the announcement of the government of Pristina.
“Kosovo, together with its international partners, is more determined than ever to protect the country’s territorial integrity,” they added.
The President of the Republic of Serbia spoke to the Financial Times about the issue. The interview, in which the president stated that he has no intention of sending the army to the territory of Kosovo, was also published by the Serbian press. Aleksandar Vucic emphasized that he would call back the troops, as further escalation of the conflict would harm Serbia’s European Union aspirations.
Serbia does not want war
– he underlined.
Serbia has not increased the number of soldiers stationed near the Serbian-Kosovo border, from 14,000 last year to 7,500 Serbian soldiers currently stationed there, and according to plans, this number will soon be reduced to 4,000.
Tensions between Serbia and Kosovo have escalated in recent months. Riots broke out in Kosovo at the end of May, when after the local elections in April, which were boycotted by the local Serbs, the Albanian mayors, who were elected with only a 3.5 percent turnout, wanted to take office in the mostly Serb-inhabited region of northern Kosovo. Local Serbs attacked Kosovo police and KFOR soldiers.
Last Sunday, a shootout broke out in northern Kosovo between masked gunmen of Serbian nationality and Kosovo police. The firefight lasted all day, one policeman was killed, one was wounded, and four attackers were shot dead. The Kosovo police later found and confiscated a large amount of weapons in the village. About 50,000 Serbs live in the block in the northern part of Kosovo, which has a population of 1.8 million.
In 2008, Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia, which Belgrade has refused to recognize ever since, and continues to consider the area, mostly inhabited by Albanians, as its southern province. Aleksandar Vucic stated again on Sunday that
Serbia will never recognize the independence of Kosovo.
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