German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has dismissed Belgrade’s plan to request the deployment of Serbian troops in Kosovo as a “totally unacceptable” provocation, prompting accusations of double standards from Prime Minister Ana Brnabic.
“In terms of international law and stability, based on which criteria do you decide which [UN Security Council Resolutions] must be respected, and which must be ignored?… Stunning level of absurdity,” Brnabic tweeted on Sunday night.
Under Resolution 1244 of the United Nations Security Council, Brnabic noted, Serbia has a right to send military and police personnel to Kosovo in certain situations, including in the event that the “peaceful and normal life” of its population there becomes threatened.
The importance of adhering to the respective UNSC resolutions in addressing “each and every problem” was also emphasized at the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting back in May – and yet when it comes to Serbia, Germany is now “explicitly saying that the UNSCR 1244… should be ignored,” according to Brnabic.
President Aleksandar Vucic announced on Saturday that Serbia will request that its forces be deployed to Kosovo amid an Albanian-led crackdown on the province’s Serb population, even as he had no doubt that NATO would reject the plea. On Sunday, Belgrade allegedly received “assurances” from KFOR that it would not take “violent actions” against the demonstrators.
Baerbock called Belgrade’s statements provocative, while praising Pristina for allegedly doing its best to defuse tensions. “Recent rhetoric from Serbia did the opposite. Suggesting sending Serbian forces to Kosovo is completely unacceptable,” she said.
The latest standoff in the predominantly Serbian northern Kosovo was sparked by the arrest of a former local police officer accused of attacking an ethnic Albanian law enforcement patrol. Over the weekend, Serbian protesters erected barricades, with authorities in Belgrade accusing the EU and other Kosovo backers of neglecting the needs of local Serbs and only “paying attention… when they are on the barricades.”
In the meantime, Vucic urged Serbs in northern Kosovo to “be calm and peaceful and not to fall for provocations,” and especially refrain from any aggressive moves against EULEX and KFOR, the EU- and NATO-led missions, respectively, stationed in Kosovo.
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