Belgrade/Pristina – Tensions escalate along the disputed Serbia – Kosovo border in the Balkan region of Europe. Local police have cracked down on ethnic Serbs protesting the new laws announced by their Kosovo Government. Serbia has taken an aggressive stance and deployed additional military and tanks on the Kosovo border. President of Kosovo has accused Russia and Serbia of this action.
A few days ago, the Kosovo government announced that vehicles coming from Serbia and those with Serbian number plates would need to pay a fee and carry a temporary printed registration. The announcement provoked intense outrage from citizens living along the Kosovo-Serbia border. The ethnic Serbs people were furious and protested the new rule by blocking roads connecting to cities from the Kosovo-Serbia border.
Kosovo police used tear gas and rubber bullets to deter the protests. As a result, a group of outraged citizens attacked and set two government offices on fire. As the situation worsened, Serbia responded with aggression. Serbian fighter jets were observed hovering near the Kosovo border on Friday and Saturday. Local agencies reported spotting Serbian military helicopters. Serbia has deployed additional troops, including armed vehicles and tanks, to the Kosovo border.
Kosovo has accused Russia and Serbia to plan these activities to jolt the European Union and NATO. Kosovo has urged the international community to pay attention to these events. Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani said that Serbia’s plans to build a Serb world is a threat to Kosovo, which needs to be recognised and it needs to be stopped.
Kosovo got separated from Serbia post the Balkan War at the end of the last century. Kosovo declared its independence in 2008. However, Russia and China, along with Serbia, have not recognised Kosovo as an independent country. The Serbian regime has consistently accused Kosovo of oppressing the ethnic Serbs. There is constant tension brewing between the two countries.