Because of riots
Kosovo wants more NATO soldiers
After the violent tensions between Serbia and Kosovo in the past week, Kosovan Prime Minister Albin Kurti is calling for a stronger presence of NATO protection troops in his country.
After the violent tensions between Serbia and Kosovo in the past week, Kosovan Prime Minister Albin Kurti is calling for a stronger presence of NATO protection troops in his country. (archive image)
“A significant increase in NATO soldiers and military equipment in our country would improve security and peace in Kosovo and in the entire Western Balkans region,” Kurti told the German newspaper “Welt”.
The head of government explained that Kosovo is currently increasing defense spending and the number of its soldiers and reservists. “An increase in the number of soldiers in the NATO peacekeeping force KFOR would support our defense efforts.” Almost 3,800 KFOR soldiers are currently deployed in Kosovo, including some Swiss.
The security situation deteriorated last Wednesday in the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo, a country of 1.8 million people with a majority Albanian population.
Kurti said: “16 barricades in four northern communities of Kosovo and men wearing masks over their faces and insignia of the “Wagner” mercenary group and the “Night Wolves” (Russian motorcycle club; editor’s note) on their dark uniforms , while waving flags with the inscription “Pray to God and hold fast to Russia”, make the need for additional NATO troops clear, as do the accumulation of Serbian troops and artillery along the Kosovan border and the constant ominous statements from the Serbian and Russian states .»
In response to the erection of numerous road barricades on the Serbian side of northern Kosovo, the government in Pristina temporarily closed the most important border crossing. Kosovan security forces and KFOR soldiers had been attacked several times, some with firearms. After calls by the EU and the USA for de-escalation, Serbia’s head of state Aleksandr Vucic pushed through the dismantling of the street barricades on Thursday and the situation calmed down.
Around 50,000 of the 120,000 members of the Serb minority in Kosovo live in northern Kosovo. For years they have refused to recognize the government in Pristina. Serbia also does not recognize the independence of the region and describes Kosovo as an autonomous province of Serbia. The conflict has been smoldering for more than 20 years. In 2008, with Western support, Kosovo declared its independence. The KFOR peacekeeping force has been present in Kosovo since 1999.