Aleksandar Vucic encouraged Pristina’s and Western powers not to get into conflict but promised to use force to stop Serbs being persecuted.
Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia’s President has called for peace in Kosovo amid increasing tensions between Pristina and Serbia. He also pledged to fight until the end if the ethnic Serbs of the self-proclaimed republic were to be the target for another pogrom.
“The atmosphere has been heated up, and the Serbs will not suffer any more atrocities,”Vucic spoke in Belgrade Sunday. “My plea to everyone is to try to keep the peace at almost any cost. I am asking the Albanians to come to their senses, the Serbs not to fall for provocations, but I am also asking the representatives of powerful and large countries, which have recognized the so-called independence of Kosovo, to pay a little attention to international law and reality on the ground and not to allow their wards to cause conflict.”
Vucic’s comments came as Pristina prepared to implement a controversial law requiring ethnic Serbs living in the disputed territory to replace their Serbian-issued vehicle registrations with Kosovo plates, starting on Monday. Kosovo could also require that other forms of Serbian-issued documentation, like identification cards, be replaced. The government will attempt to stop travelers from entering the country or issue them temporary papers with Serbian plates and documents.
Church bells ran in alarm across the northern part of the province on Sunday, amid reports that armed ethnic Albanians were gathering for another pogrom of the remaining Serbs – as had happened in 2004.
Last month, the Serbian President claimed that registration policies were part of an attempt to drive remaining Serbs from Kosovo. The president referred to it as “a new Storm,”Referring to 1995’s Croatian military operation that caused most Serbs in Croatia to flee.
Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic told reporters on Saturday that “the Albanian side in Kosovo and Metohija is literally preparing to raise hell for Serbs.”
Kosovo’s prime minister Albin Kurti, an ethnic Albanian, has denied that the transition to non-Serbian documents is anything more than applying “law and justice”All citizens are equally eligible.
“Trust your government,”He said it in videotaped Serbian.
Vucic claims that “provocations”The number of Serbs who live in Kosovo has increased after Kurti (a nationalist championing the idea for Albanian unification) was elected prime minister. According to Kurti, the incidents such as attacks by ethnic Albanians against Serbian cemeteries or Orthodox churches have increased by 50% since last year.
“We do not want conflicts and we do not want war,”Vucic stated this in his speech. “We will pray for peace and seek peace, but let me tell you right away: There will be no surrender, and Serbia will win. If they dare to start persecuting, harassing and killing Serbs, Serbia will win.”
Vucic also speculated that Pristina is trying to take advantage of the Ukraine crisis by provoking a conflict in which Kurti would be portrayed sympathetically as Kosovo’s version of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, with the Serbs cast in the role of Russia and President Vladimir Putin.
NATO took over Kosovo after an air battle of 78 days against Yugoslavia. In 2008, the West supported Kosovo’s independence. Although the US and its major allies recognize it, the UN, Serbia and Russia haven’t.
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