Barricades, gunfire and the US demand – summary of developments from the north
The Government of Kosovo has postponed for one month the decision on the implementation of reciprocity with Serbia, for license plates and identification documents, this after the Serbs placed barricades on the roads leading to the two border crossing points with Serbia – Jarinje and Bërnjak. The postponement of the implementation of the decision on reciprocity with documents against Serbia came from the request of the USA. This request was forwarded by Ambassador Jeff Hovenier, in an urgent meeting in the late hours with President Osmani, Prime Minister Kurti and the two Deputy Prime Ministers, Bislimi and Gërvalla.
The police confirmed that there were gunshots in the north and some citizens were mistreated at the border. In some places, the police said that shots were fired at police units, but that no one was injured.
In this situation, the two border points Brënjak and Jarinje were blocked. Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora instructed compatriots to use other border crossing points to enter Kosovo.
KFOR estimated that the situation in the north was tense and they are ready to intervene.
“The general security situation in the northern municipalities of Kosovo is tense. The NATO-led KFOR mission is closely monitoring and is prepared to intervene if stability is threatened, in accordance with its mandate, stemming from UN Resolution 1244 of 1999,” said KFOR’s response. .
In the government’s communique, the blocking of roads by groups of Serbs was condemned and the tendency to destabilize the country by illegal structures was mentioned.
“The government promises to postpone the implementation of the decision of June 29, 2022, until September 1, 2022, from the moment to Monday, August 1, 2022, when all barricades will be removed and full freedom of movement will be established in all the roads in the north of Kosovo”, said the Government of Kosovo.
The President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, in her reaction said that the Kosovo Police is working non-stop to guarantee respect for the law and freedom of movement. Also, she announced that actions are being taken in coordination with international partners.
“The measure of reciprocity is not directed against anyone, but in favor of citizens regardless of affiliation. Therefore, I invite the Serbian citizens of the Republic of Kosovo not to fall prey to the propaganda from Belgrade. The Kosovo Police and all security institutions are working hard to guarantee respect for the rule of law and freedom of movement. We are coordinating and working tirelessly with our international partners”, she writes.
Osmani further said that the actions of Serbian groups in the north are Vucic’s attempt to destabilize Kosovo.
“Vuqiç’s efforts to destabilize Kosovo, which is being served with the methods of his mentor – Putin, will fail,” she added.
The special envoy of the European Union, Miroslav Lajcak for the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue, has said that the idea of postponing the reciprocity decision was Josep Borrelli, head of the EU for Foreign Policy and Security.
“We welcome Kosovo’s decision to accept Osep Borreli’s proposal to postpone for 1 month the decision on reciprocity. The EU expects all obstacles to be removed immediately. HRVP Borrell invited Kosovo and Serbia to engage in dialogue on the way forward. Grateful to USAmbKosovo for strong support”, wrote Lajçak on Twitter.
The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, reacted after the meeting he had with the General Staff of the Serbian army, thanking the Serbs for what he said were the “courage and restraint” that, according to him, the local Serbs showed in opposing reciprocity.
He said that they asked the international factor to talk with Kosovo officials, whom he called “irresponsible”.
“It is extremely important for us that the dialogue continues and we begin to resolve things peacefully. We have asked all international representatives to do everything possible. It is important to continue the dialogue and try to solve things peacefully”.
He also said that “Serbia will not surrender”. /Rhewal