Kosovo's prime minister blames Serbia for border tensions

President Aleksandar Vucic and Serbia's Kosovo Office head Petar Petkovic are the main culprits, says Kosovar Premier Albin Kurti.

Kosovo's prime minister blames Serbia for border tensions

Kosovo’s prime minister on Sunday blamed the president of Serbia for increased tension and possible border conflicts between Serbia’s Army and the Kosovar police, decrying planned “fear” and threats in neighboring Serbia.

"Our release of entry and exit documents at Serbian border crossings (under a new law) has not yet begun, (but) illegal Serbian structures in the north began with road blocks and gunshots,” Albin Kurti said on social media.

Pointing to “statements, meetings and meetings of fear and threat in Belgrade,” the Serbian capital, he added: “These aggressive actions that are happening today were planned and prompted,”

Saying that Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic is the main culprit in “riots” in the country, Kurti also pointed to Petar Petkovic, the head of Serbia’s Office for Kosovo, as also being responsible.

Kurti also said that challenging days may lie ahead.

"The hours of the coming days and weeks may be challenging and problematic. We are facing the Serbian national chauvinism that we know well,'' said Kurti.

Tension between Serbia and Kosovo rose on Sunday ahead of a new Kosovar law set to come into effect Monday making it mandatory for everyone, including Serbs living in Kosovo, to have a Kosovo ID card and plate.

According to local media, air raid sirens were heard along near the Kosovo/Serbian border as Kosovo is set to restrict border crossings.

There is no official information that anyone was injured, said Kosovar police in a statement. “We appeal to all citizens and the media not to fall for fake news that tends to destabilize the situation and creates panic,” it added.

Serbia’s Defense Ministry issued a statement alleging that the Kosovar government is spreading a large amount of disinformation, including through fake accounts on social media.

It added that the Serbian Army had not “in any way entered the territory of Kosovo.”

Vucic is expected to address the Serbian public later on Sunday night.

Kosovo, which is predominantly inhabited by Albanians, broke away from Serbia in 1999 and declared its independence in 2008. It is recognized by more than 100 countries, including the US, UK, France, Germany, and Türkiye. Serbia has not recognized this and continues to lay claim to the territory.

Hüseyin Demir

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