There’s an pressing want for additional NATO troops in Kosovo as a consequence of “threats from Serbia and Russia,” the small Balkan nation’s prime minister mentioned on Friday.
The remark got here amid weeks of heightened tensions between Prishtina and Belgrade after the Kosovo authorities introduced it will introduce reciprocity measures affecting Serbian residents, involving entry paperwork and licence plates.
In an interview with the German outlet Welt, Prime Minister Albin Kurti mentioned that the extra peacekeeping forces would “undoubtedly enhance (Kosovo’s) safety”.
“KFOR troops can assist us additional broaden our safety buildings and capacities,” he mentioned.
Brussels and Washington proceed their diplomatic offensive
Tensions soared anew late final month when Kosovo’s authorities declared that Serbian-issued id paperwork and car license plates would not be legitimate inside its territory, a response to Kosovo-issued paperwork not being legitimate in Serbia.
Though ethnic Serbs residing within the north of the nation instantly responded by placing up barricades, the scenario on the bottom was rapidly calmed after EU police forces and KFOR got here to the scene, whereas the EU and US officers organised a gathering between Prishtina and Belgrade in Brussels.
Nevertheless, the talks failed to supply any concrete outcomes, with the bloc’s high diplomat Josep Borrell stating that the 2 sides pledged to carry additional conferences to attempt to discover a answer to the difficulty.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić responded to the disaster by stating that Belgrade needs peace however won’t hesitate to guard the ethnic Serbs within the north.
On Thursday, US and EU envoys for Kosovo and the broader Western Balkans area, Gabriel Escobar and Miroslav Lajčak, met with Vučić and held talks with Kosovo Serb leaders in a bid to additional deescalate the disaster.
Following Thursday’s assembly, each Lajčak and Escobar refused to reveal particulars, however Lajčak emphasised that the talks weren’t about winners or losers however “concerning the individuals who stay in Kosovo”.
Vučić mentioned on Instagram that the three “had no simple talks,” including that “we won’t surrender our important nationwide and state pursuits, primarily the pursuits of our folks, your safety.”
Lajčak and Escobar mentioned that they’ve additionally requested Kurti to postpone the implementation of the principles which have triggered the newest controversy, Euronews Albania reported.
In the meantime, Kosovo’s prime minister insisted the brand new rules would come into power beginning 1 September whereas leaving the door open to the opportunity of a distinct association altogether.
“I’m able to shake arms with Vučić. If Serbia agrees to waive border controls sooner or later, then we are going to do the identical,” Kurti mentioned.