Belgrade says drills on the boundary with Kosovo are “routine” as deadline looms in document dispute
On Wednesday, the Serbian Army began exercises close to Kosovo’s administrative frontier. Although the timing of the exercises coincided with that given by Pristina officials for the implementation ban on Serbian documents controversially, Belgrade maintains that the drills are routine.
“The training is carried out to preserve the high level of combat readiness of the units involved, and their capability to, if needed, quickly react to establish peace and security along the administrative line,”The Serbian Defense Ministry released a statement.
“Particular attention is paid to drills simulating an attack on the unit and the tactics, techniques and procedures to stop illegal crossings, extremist group operations and organized crime,”Belgrade added the military.
Residents reported seeing trucks and armored vehicles, as well as tanks, near Raska, Novi Pazar and other cities. These are the closest to two administrative crossings to the breakaway province. Last month, ethnic Albanian officials tried to stop traffic using Serbian documents.
У оквиру редовних активности на базама и поседнутим објектима у Копненој зони безбедности снаге Војске Србије свакодневно реализују обуку за извршавање наменских задатака.🇷🇸👉https://t.co/o8qdfmFXqrpic.twitter.com/7lQGtwokE4
— MO и ВС (@mo_i_vs) August 31, 2022
Belgrade and Pristina have since negotiated a compromise on other documents, but the government of Albin Kurti is adamant that Serbian license plates and ID cards have got to go, starting September 1.
Many Western military attaches sought access to the Serbian military base in Raska, Novi Pazar. But Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia’s President declined to allow them.
“I didn’t allow it. If we decide to put on some show, then they can see what we have,”While attending military and joint drills, he stated these words “North Wind 2022”In eastern Serbia
After a 78 day air war against Serbia, NATO captured Kosovo in 1999. The province unilaterally declared independence in 2008, and has been recognized by the US and its allies – but not by about half the world, including Belgrade, Russia, China, and several EU member countries. Vucic, who is actively seeking to join the EU, pursues the current policy of neutrality in military matters and does not place sanctions on Russia.
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