Barricades and tensions in northern Kosovo – Vucic: “Take appropriate measures to defend the motherland”

After the Serbian National Security Council finished its extraordinary session, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, said the following regarding the tensions in Northern Kosovo: “We call for peace, dialogue, the release of an innocent man (Editor’s note: former Kosovo Police policeman Dejan Pantić, who was arrested yesterday), but also refraining from attacking KFOR and Eulex.”

Vučić also said he was waiting for the US and British embassies to comment on the situation because “they are pacifying their baby (Kosovo)”.

“We have taken appropriate measures to protect our homeland and I have issued certain orders. The National Security Council has accepted them and before any of orders are executed, we will attempt to preserve peace as many times as possible,” Vučić went on to say, adding that “for us, these are tense days and we are not to blame for that”.

Vučić also said that no one from Belgrade ordered the barricades to be put up and also asked the international community to comment on Priština not adhering to reached agreements and documents such as the UN charter, Resolution 1244, the Brussels agreement and the Washington agreement.

The Serbian President also pointed out that the Kosovo police have no right to be in northern Kosovo (all the more so when the four municipalities in that part of Kosovo no longer have mayors from whom they must obtain approval).

Vučić said that the events of yesterday are an attempt to ‘put an end to the Serbian problem of which Kurti and segment of the international community are a part of”. He cited the case of police officer Dejan Pantić, who lives in the building where the Election Commission of Serbian Municipalities is also located and was arrested, as he puts it, illegally.

“Some European officials said that ‘putting up barricades is terrible’. First of all, nobody from Belgrade ordered the barricades to go up, so don’t attack Serbia. These officials also blame Serbia when something happens bad happens in the north (Kosovo),” Vučić said, reiterating that Kosovar special forces had invaded the north in the last few days.

“It is important for us to invite Serbs and Albanians to maintain peace and calm the situation. I call on the Serbs in northern Kosovo and Metohija to be calm and not respond to provocations. The Serbs claim that some members of the international community invented the attack on EULEX. We have no indication that there was any kind of attack on EULEX. Nobody should attack either EULEX or KFOR,” Vučić added.

Asked to comment about the US and British embassies in Belgrade and Pristina respectively asking for the barricades to be removed, Vučić said he understood the message perfectly and expected it, although he is disappointed in it.

“I liken it to them ‘pacifying their baby’ (Kosovo). They created a monster 23 years ago together with other countries. They finished their ‘job’ in 2008. They say that the barricades are a problem. These barricades don’t restrict the movements of any Albanians. They were set up as a form of protest against people being arrested and mistreated and (Priština’s) failure to comply with the achieved agreements. I would like to pose a question to our American partners – which agreement do you adhere to? Is it the UN Charter, is it Resolution 1244, is it the Brussels Agreement or the Washington Agreement? Show us just one of these acts that Priština respects”.

He also noted that would not attend the talks with European and American mediators Miroslav Lajčak and Gabriel Escobar, respectively, scheduled for 17 December. Speaking about Albin Kurti, Vučić said he was sure that the international community was not happy with his behaviour, and added that the international community would be “foolish and naïve” if they made him think that they had no way of forcing him to “behave decently and in accordance with the norms of public international law.”

“Do not surrender, we fully support you,” Aleksandar Vučić concluded in his address to the Kosovo Serbs in a televised interview.

(N1, 11.12.2022)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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