Serbia and Kosovo rattling sabres again?

A few days after Kosovo authorities announced that they would purchase the anti-tank missiles Javelin from the U.S., Serbia is now saying it plans to purchase combat vehicles for its army.  

Kosovo has requested to buy 246 Javelin missiles and 24 lightweight command launch units, among other items, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement released on January 11th.

Furthermore, the Kosovo Interior Minister boasted two days ago that the Kosovo police would also purchase new rifles in order to increase its efficiencies in fighting organized crime. His Serbian counterpart, Bratislav Gašić, commented by saying that because of that, Serbs living in Kosovo would be additionally criminalized.  

Analysts say that the decision to buy additional equipment for Kosovo police is not surprising due to the frequent announcements about threats from Serbia.

“Such announcements, i.e. buying new guns to fight organized crime, is pandering to the electorate, in order to cover up the much bigger story, which concerns the dialogue and concrete execution of the Community of Serbian Municipalities,” says journalist Ana Marija Ivković.

Belgrade also has weapons for internal use, according to military analyst Aleksandar Radić. He also says that it is questionable whether there is a real potential for the radicalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina.

“The ruling party in Serbia is keen for people to view them as the protector of the nation that is in jeopardy. The same goes for Priština. By creating an atmosphere of one side being against the other the ruling parties are ensuring their stay in power”, Radić notes.

Priština was pleased and Belgrade was disappointed when the US government said it approved the delivery of the American-produced anti-tank missile system Javelin to Kosovo.

Radić says that the Serbian Army’s procurement of military vehicles should not be seen as a response to Kosovo purchasing Javelins because that was a previously planned procurement.

(N1, 14.01.2024)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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