The Birincak and Yaringi border crossings between Kosovo and Serbia were closed on Sunday evening Police in Kosovo after the outbreak of unrest. Among other things, aircraft alarms sounded in the city of Mitrovica and barriers were set up at the borders, according to daily newspaper Border guards from Serbia and Kosovo were also said to have shot at each other.
The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, confirmed the shooting, and a large number of policemen are on the scene to maintain order. At 23:00 on Sunday, the NATO-led military force in Kosovo declared that it was ready to intervene if the country’s stability was threatened.
Formerly a province of Serbia, Kosovo declared itself an independent state in 2008 and has so far been recognized by more than 100 countries, but relations with Serbia have since soured because it was one of several countries that did not recognize its independence.
The two countries committed in 2013 to a dialogue in consultation with the European Union aimed at trying to resolve the conflict, but little progress has been made so far.
A new decision for the Serbs in Kosovo
The unrest comes the day before a new decision set to take effect in Kosovo on August 1, in which Serbian citizens traveling to Kosovo will have to exchange their passports for a temporary identity card while in the country and cars with Serbian registration plates in Kosovo will have to change to Kosovars who sign within two months.
About 50,000 Serbs living in the northern parts of Kosovo, who use number plates and documents issued by Serbian authorities, will be affected by the new regulations, which largely apply to Kosovo in Serbia in a similar way.
As a result, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Sunday that his country “has never been in a more complex and difficult situation than it is today”. He emphasized that he wanted to maintain peace between nations, but:
– If they do not want to keep the peace, I tell you: Serbia will win.
In turn, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti accused the Serbs of carrying out “aggressive actions” in connection with the unrest, and blamed Aleksandar Vucic, among others, for this.
– He said in a statement that the legal and security agencies in our country collect information, monitor the situation and will work to defend the law, citizens, our sovereignty and the integrity of our territories.
There is no information on injuries
Despite the unrest, there is currently no information that anyone has been injured, and it is announced in a statement Serbian Ministry of Defense That no Serbian forces crossed the border into Kosovo.
Last year, a similar incident led to a show of force between the two countries, with Kosovo sending special police forces to the site while Serbia flew warplanes near the border.
The text has been updated.
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