Russia has accused “radical” Kosovo of trying to displace Serbs from the north of the Balkan nation with new border guidelines which have renewed tensions.
Kosovo police closed two border crossings with Serbia on Sunday after it took on gunfire and ethnic Serbs blocked roads alongside the border. Ethnic Serbs, who make up a majority of the inhabitants in northern Kosovo, have been protesting Pristina’s necessities for them to acquire non permanent paperwork and license plates whereas visiting Kosovo — a transfer that Pristina defends as reciprocal to Belgrade’s.
Kosovo agreed to delay the implementation of the plan for one month till Sept. 1 after the protests and talks with EU and U.S. ambassadors.
Russia’s Overseas Ministry accused Kosovo of taking “one other step towards the expulsion of the Serbian inhabitants from Kosovo [and] the ouster of Kosovo Serbian establishments that defend the rights of Serbian residents from the arbitrary rule of Pristina radicals.”
“Kosovar leaders know that Serbs won’t be detached to a direct assault on their freedoms, and they’re intentionally aggravating it with a purpose to launch a violent state of affairs,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated in a press release late Sunday.
Zakharova stated the Serbia-Kosovo tensions served as “additional proof of the failure of the EU mediation mission.”
EU-led talks launched in 2011 have up to now did not normalize ties between Belgrade and Pristina.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stated earlier Sunday that “Serbia will win” if Serbs are attacked, noting that “the environment has been delivered to a boil.”
Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti accused Vucic of igniting “unrest” and referred to as for the elimination of barricades on Monday.
Greater than 100 nations besides Serbia and Russia acknowledge Kosovo’s independence.
Kosovo declared independence in 2008, a decade after NATO-led bombing ended a conflict between the neighbors.
Sure by tradition and the Orthodox Church, Serbia lies inside Russia’s former sphere of affect in ex-communist Europe, though the EU is by far the most important international investor.