Tension persists in Kosovo after deployment of Serbian Armored Vehicles

Tensions escalated even further on Monday between Kosovo and Serbia. This is the result of the decision of Belgrade, the Serbian capital, to deploy four armored vehicles of its army near the border with its former province.

On Sunday, Serbia decided to raise the alert level of its army in the border area. Serbian fighter jets repeatedly flew over the border area over the weekend. State television (RTS) on Monday broadcast images of the armored vehicles as well as elements of the Serbian army equipped with automatic weapons indicating that they were located 2 km from the border with Kosovo.

In Pristina, the Kosovar capital, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, visiting Kosovo, described the actions in Belgrade as “theatrical military maneuvers” declaring himself convinced that “dialogue is the only solution”.

Serbia does not recognize Kosovo
Serbia accuses neighboring Kosovo of “provocations” due to the recent deployment of its special forces near two border posts in northern Kosovo, Jarinje and Brnjak. Serbs are in the majority in the north and refuse the authority of the Kosovar government.

This deployment of troops, which angered the Serbs, followed the decision of the government of Kosovo to prohibit the entry into its territory of vehicles with Serbian license plates and to replace them with temporary Kosovar plates, a “Reciprocity measure”, according to Pristina. Hundreds of Serbs have since protested against this decision and have blocked traffic on the roads leading to two border posts with trucks.

The border crossings between Serbia and Kosovo, a territory of 1.8 million inhabitants populated mainly by Albanians, are designated as “administrative passages” by Belgrade, which does not recognize the independence proclaimed in 2008 by its former province.

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