Tensions Flare on Kosovo-Serbian Border Amid Protests and Gunfire

“We will pray for peace and seek peace, but there will be no surrender and Serbia will win,” President Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia said on Sunday at a news conference. “If they dare to persecute, persecute and kill Serbs, Serbia will win,” he continued, later adding, “We have never been in a more difficult, complicated situation than today.”

Mr. Vucic, who convened a high-level meeting of security and military officials on Sunday night, said that the Kosovar government was trying to make him look like President Vladimir V. Putin by placing the blame on unrest over Serbia’s close relationship with Russia. , an Orthodox and Slavic Christian country.

Kosovo leader Vucic said during his press conference on Sunday, he is trying to capitalize on the global mood by predicting that “the big Putin ordered the little Putin, so the new Zelensky, in the form of Albin Kurti, will be a savior and fight against the great hegemony of Serbia. “

Vladimir Djukanovic, a member of the Serbian Parliament from Vucic’s ruling party, also linked the border dispute to the war in Ukraine, tweeting, “It seems to me that Serbia will be forced to start denuclearization humanizing the Balkans”, an ominous reference to Russia’s justification for the invasion of Ukraine.

Serbia, a candidate to join the European Union, has maintain close ties with Moscow and not part of Western sanctions against Russia, although it voted in favor a UN resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Belgrade and Moscow share a feud with the NATO military alliance over the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, when Vucic was a spokesman for Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

NATO maintains a peacekeeping presence in Kosovo, with a force of about 3,700 troops. In a press release, NATO said ground forces were “ready to intervene if stability is threatened”.

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