Tensions In The Balkans Intensify As Serbia Wants To Send Troops Into Kosovo And The Secretary Of NATO Warns That War Could Expand Outside Of Ukraine

The Serbian government wants to send a thousand military police into Kosovo, which have not been there since the 1999 war. This want for deployment is happening amidst reports of persecution against the ethnic Serbian population in that country. Serbian officials have stated that a UN resolution permits Serbia to send in a thousand troops into Kosovo, but only if NATO-led peacekeepers allow for this. NATO has a peace keeping force in Kosovo, known as Kosovo Force (KFOR). Serbia’s prime minister, Ana Brnabic, has stated that KFOR has failed to protect the Serbian minority in Kosovo and affirmed that a thousand troops should be deployed. She also accused Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti of pushing the country “to the edge” of another war.“We are close to requesting the return of our forces to Kosovo under Resolution 1244, because KFOR is not doing its job.” Brnabic said. “Serbs do not feel safe and are physically and life threatened, including children in kindergartens.” Kurti’s office warned that any such deployment would be “an act of aggression” and a sign of “Serbia’s tendencies to destabilize the region.” The Kosovo government has sent hundreds of officers into Kosovska Mitrovica, where there is a Serbian majority, and blockaded it. The Serbian government put out a statement on December 9th, 2022, stating:

Last night, at an extraordinary press conference, [Petar] Petkovic [Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija] reported that, according to information obtained by Belgrade, between 300 and 350 police officers invaded the north of Kosovska Mitrovica, from the direction of South Mitrovica towards Bosnjacka Mahala, around 8:30 p.m.

According to Petkovic, the policemen, among whom there were patrolmen with body armour, but also ROSU members with long barrels and in full military gear, deployed and blocked the entire city, and then stationed themselves in certain neighbourhoods.

He reminded everyone in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as those in the West, that according to the Brussels agreement, the Kosovo police do not have the right to be present in the north of Kosovo and Metohija, but only the police of the North Directorate can do so, stressing that everyone knows this very well and apparently allows Kurti to engage in dangerous actions aimed at undermining the Brussels Agreement.

Petkovic explained that the reason for the police raid in the north of Kosovska Mitrovica is allegedly that the Albanians who live in mixed communities are scared because of what is happening in the north of Kosovo and Metohija.

He recalled that two days ago, Kurti exerted violence, stating that this is his way of dealing with the Serbs and causing incidents in order to forcibly impose the holding of illegal elections that he wants to carry out in the north of Kosovo and Metohija in four municipalities.

… Belgrade will consider, within the framework of what is provided for in Resolution 1244 of the UN Security Council, especially Article Four and Article Six of Annex Two, the return of up to 1,000 members of our security forces to the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.

Belgrade will not allow the expulsion and suffering of the Serbian people from Kosovo and Metohija to be repeated.

Violence has erupted in the Metohija region of Kosovo. Gunshots have been fired and grenade explosions have erupted. One Albanian officer was injured after being shot by an unidentified gunman. Serbian president Aleksander Vucic declared in an official meeting “There will be no surrender!” Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic blamed NATO and the EU for not reacting to violence against Serbs:

“Albin Kurti brought all of us, Serbs and Albanians, to the very brink of war, but he did not do it alone. We note the completely ignorant behavior of partners and the European Union, which do not react or react when it is already completely on fire”

She also said: “They do not protect the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija”.

By sending officers into Metohija, argues the Serbian government, Kosovo has violated the 2013 Brussels agreements because the Kosovo police forces are not allowed to enter the Serb-populated region. The tensions that are lingering in the air can be trailed back to the law passed by Kosovo prohibiting Serbian license plates, and punishing “violators” with €150 fines. According to the law, after April 21, 2023, cars will be confiscated from such citizens. After this decision, the leader of the Serbs of Kosovo and Metohija, the chairman of the “Serbian List” party, Goran Rakic, on November 5 of 2022 announced the withdrawal of the Serbs from all power structures of the region.

“We have decided to withdraw from all political institutions … and also to suspend the presence and work of Serbs in the judiciary and the police in northern Kosovo. Our decisions will be in force until Pristina begins to respect international law, and specifically, until it withdraws the illegal decision on auto numbers and creates a Community of Serbian municipalities,” TASS quotes the politician. Now there have been preparations for elections (which are suppose to be held on December 18th) to replace these Serbian officials. But this has not been without violence. Euractiv reported:

Kosovo police said that masked individuals damaged the offices of municipal electoral commissions using, reportedly, Yugoslav-era hand grenades. The police said the incident happened when police were escorting electoral commission officials to an electoral event.

The elections are set to occur in the Serb-majority municipalities of Zvecan, Leopsavic, Zubin Potok and North Metohija. The Minister of Internal Affairs of Kosovo, Xhelal Sveçla, stated that “organised groups, with some masked individuals” ambushed the election officials and the policemen “with grenades and shots in the air.”

The Minister of Defense of Serbia, Milosh Vucevic, warned the Serbs not to fall into provocations:

“It is a very difficult situation. It is easy for us from Belgrade, Nis and Subotica to say what needs to be done. It is not easy to explain to the Serbian community in Kosovo how important it is to remain calm, not to fall into provocations, and on the other hand, not to be humiliated or devalued further, we must also understand their reactions, they do not have the same environment and life as other citizens of Serbia,”

Serbia’s president, Aleksandar Vučić, declared:

“Serbia will be committed to peace, I will say to our people in Kosovo and Metohija that we will do everything to keep them safe. If someone thinks that they can expel and kill our people, then I repeat with all seriousness: we will be with our Serbian people and will not leave them. We will protect peace and stability, but the Serbian people must know that their country and international law are behind them”

Josep Borrell reported that Belgrade and Pristina had allegedly come to an agreement to pause the conflict. He stated that Serbia agreed to stop issuing number plates with area codes for Kosovo and Metohija (registered under Serbian laws, but on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija), and Kosovo undertook not to attempt to forcibly re-register vehicles with Serbian plates. Regardless of this, Pristina sent police special forces to Kosovo and Metohija. The controversy over license plates seems petty, but it was really an attempt to get Serbia to recognize Kosovo as an independent state. If Serbia were to accept the prohibition of Serbian license plates, it would be saying that Kosovo is not Serbian, but Albanian. And this is something that runs against the deeply held sentiments of the Serbs who hold Kosovo to be a part of their homeland.

Now that Russia — Serbia’s biggest ally — is at war with Ukraine, the Russians would be distracted from intervening in the case of a war in the Balkans. Ekaterina Entina, professor at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, has stated that the Albanians are taking advantage of this to escalate violence:

“No one, except the Albanians themselves, benefits from rising tensions and the situation sliding into a poorly managed crisis, including Brussels, Berlin or even Washington. The West was satisfied with the situation when everything was on the verge in Kosovo and Metohija, but in reality the situation remained under control. But this does not suit the Albanians, and above all the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti. They believe that now there is a unique chance to “put the squeeze on” the Kosovo issue, since Russia is occupied by the Northern Black Sea region, and the entire West is opposed to it and Serbia …

“Through these provocations, they want to create a situation in which the Serbs would leave the region themselves. And Belgrade has become, in a sense, a hostage to this alignment, since it cannot fail to react to the oppression of its people in the province, but any of its actions will be regarded by the West as illegal and repressive. This will be followed by a forceful and diplomatic response,”

So according to Ekaterina, the Albanians want to escalate things to violence in order to push the Serbs out, an agenda which would hearken back to the ideology of the Albanian Nazis under the Third Reich and their posterity in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) which wanted to see a Serb-free Kosovo. Professor Elena Ponomareva believes that the provocation was done by Kosovo with the support of both the US and the EU:

“Everything that Pristina does, it does with the consent of external players – Brussels and Washington. The officials of the Kosovo institutions have repeatedly stressed that all their steps are approved by the EU and the US. It should be clearly understood that if some actions of Pristina are not coordinated with the Euro-Atlantic institutions, then at least these institutions do not interfere with them”

This makes sense, given that it was the Germans who supported the Albanians against the Serbs under the Third Reich, and it was the Germans who armed and backed the Kosovo Liberation Army against Belgrade in the 1990s. In the latter instance, the Germans were supporting the KLA as a proxy to advance German hegemony. Moreover, the Germans want Kosovo in the EU, which would only be a further growth of German power in Europe. So, to say that the Germans are secretly backing the Albanian provocation is really not far-fetched. The Russian ambassador to Serbia, Alexander Botan-Kharchenko, stated that the EU wanted the blockade of Metohija to happen to cause provocation, and that the goal was to provoke violence to justify the taking of the northern tip of Kosovo:

“The campaign of intimidation and oppression of the Serbian population continues. The goal is the development, the capture of the north of the region (near the border with the main part of Serbia. – Approx. IA REGNUM ). Moreover, with the connivance, even assistance from the West”

Vucic affirms that it is the Germans who are supporting the Albanians. “Pristina has the support of the Germans, and for every move they make, they can always put conditions on Pristina for visas and energy support, money and support for membership in the Council of Europe, but it is clear that they will not do that.”… ” It is clear that the Germans are the ones who support all the illegal actions (of Kosovo – ed.) in the EU, and Britain outside the EU,” said Vucic.

Amidst a war between Russia and Ukraine, there is now a tense antagonism simmering between Kosovo and Serbia. In the midst of these things, NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, warned about a war between Russia and NATO:

“It is a terrible war in Ukraine. It is also a war that can become a full-fledged war that spreads into a major war between NATO and Russia”

But which part of NATO would war with Russia? Is the United States going to go to war with Russia, or simply allow Germany to go free from American power to form its own European bloc and war with Russia? Right now the Americans are allowing the Germans to boost up its military might. This is being encouraged by the whole of the West. But why? Because the Americans want Germany to be the defenders of Europe so they don’t have to be. The US wants to focus more against China than against Russia, so it is giving the green light to the Germans to revive its military strength. On November 2nd of 2022, Bärbel Bas, the president of the German parliament (Bundestag) declared:

“Germany has long benefited from NATO protection. It is now up to us to show that our partners in the alliance can also rely on us. Germany takes its duty of assistance to its allies very seriously. Our commitment to securing the alliance’s eastern flank shows this clearly. I was in Warsaw in May. In all the talks I had there, I felt how imminent the Russian threat was felt in our neighboring countries and in the Baltic States. Our engagement in the eastern NATO countries, especially in Rukla, is very much appreciated there. Ladies and Gentlemen the world has changed since the Cold War. We live in a multipolar and dynamic world. China’s power and the US’ stronger focus on the Indo-Pacific region make us aware that we Europeans have to take on more responsibility. We need to take our security more into our own hands.”

If war breaks out in the Balkans again, it will give further pretext to the Germans to boost up their military might. The Germans, in such a situation, will also speak about being a force of stability, just like Turkey advanced itself as a stabilizer in the Middle East as it intervened in Iraq and Syria. Turkey is to the Middle East what Germany will be to Europe.