The situation around Kosovo escalated in a matter of days.
A photo: REUTERS
What is the reason for the current conflict between Serbia and Kosovo
On the last day of July, the authorities of the self-proclaimed Kosovo announced that from August 1 will impose a ban to Serbian personal documents and Serbian registration numbers of cars at the points of entry into their territory. Instead, they will be issued temporary “declaration sheets” valid for three months.
In response, the Serb population of Kosovo and Metohija began build barricades. The International Security Forces in Kosovo (KFOR), operating under the auspices of NATO since 1999, were drawn to the bridge over the Ibar River in Kosovska Mitrovica. The world media started talking about a possible new armed conflict in the Balkans, not forgetting to remind that the First World War began for Russia on August 1, 1914.
– The decision of the authorities of Pristina to begin the forced replacement of personal documents and registration numbers of cars of local Sebers is another step towards the expulsion of the Serbian population from Kosovo and the expulsion of Kosovo-Serb institutions from there, which ensure the protection of the rights of Serbian residents from the arbitrariness of Pristina radicals, – commented on the air of the radio “TVNZ» situation Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova. – The leaders of Kosovars know that the Serbs will not remain indifferent when it comes to a direct attack on their freedoms, and they deliberately escalate in order to launch a military scenario. Belgrade is also at the forefront of the attack, which the West wants to additionally “neutralize” with Koso-Albanian hands.
We tell what is happening now between Serbia and Kosovo, publish the latest news and find out if there will be a war.
Why did the outbreak happen right now?
The decision of the Kosovo authorities is exclusively provocative. It runs counter to agreements reached back in the 2010s as part of the technical dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, which allowed the use of both Serbian and Kosovo personal documents and license plates until a “mutual solution” was reached between the two sides. Then why did Pristina take such a step?
It is hard to imagine that the Kosovo authorities themselves decided to aggravate the situation. Moreover, US Secretary of State Blinken, three days before Serbian-Kosovo crisis, reportedly hosted the president and premier of Kosovo, and promised all support for “Euro-Atlantic and international integration.” And although Washington has already “condemned” Pristina’s actions and asked to postpone the introduction of new rules until early September, something tells that everything is happening according to a pre-written political score.
On July 27, a delegation from Kosovo met with US Secretary of State Blinken in Washington.
A photo: REUTERS
Serbian President Vučić has so far stubbornly refused to join the anti-Russian sanctions – of course, when more than 80 percent of Serbs support Russia in its actions in Ukraine. From the recognition of Kosovo, which would also be political suicide for him, he avoids in every possible way. But at the same time he stubbornly declares that the future of the country is only in the EU. Under these conditions, for the West to create a real crisis for it with hard-to-predict consequences on the border, and then, suggesting to Pristina that there is no need to rush, to rid it of this burden is already a success. After all, Vucic should be grateful for the support of the West, and therefore become more accommodating.
How events may develop in Kosovo and Serbia
“It seems to me that now there will be no serious clash and military operations,” she expressed her opinion on the air. radio “Komsomolskaya Pravda” Elena Guskova, leading researcher at the Institute of Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Historical Sciences. Situations with the erection of barricades on the northern border of Kosovo have already happened, and more than once.
Vučić will not agree to a military clash with the Kosovars, commented on the possible development of events to KP radio political scientist Vladimir Bruter. The Serbian president, he believes, once again wants to make sure that the West influences Kosovo, he will take half a step back, and Vucic will announce the victory of Serbia.
– No one believes Vučić, he has always been a compromiser, – the expert believes. – The only way to react to the provocation of the Kosovars is to occupy the north of Kosovo and say that now the border passes here. If you want to fight with us, then please, we will occupy Pristina in three days. Do not want – the border will now be like this. NATO will not fight for the Kosovars. They will threaten to impose harsh sanctions, but they will not fight for the Kosovars. But Vucic never dared to fight, he was always a compromiser.
In fact, the West has already “dealt with” everything: it expressed dissatisfaction with the “arbitrariness” of Pristina and forced the anti-Serb decision to be postponed for a month. Once again showing that nothing can happen in the Balkans without the will of Washington and Brussels. The West has appointed the Serbs guilty, which means they must reconcile…
Why did the West start this provocation
Unrelated to events in Ukraine the current surge of tension in Kosovo and Metohija, of course, cannot be considered. The new-old conflict in southern Europe emerged precisely when talk of Kyiv’s “inevitable victory” over Moscow began to subside, because events that can no longer be ignored indicate quite the opposite. It was then that, like a marked trump card from its sleeve, the West pulled out the unresolved Kosovo problem. After all, in the event of a military threat to Serbia, no one but Russia will help. But in the current conditions, when its military and other forces and resources are involved in a special operation in Ukraine, this, according to almost all experts, is practically impossible.
One of the roads blocked by the Serbs in the north of Kosovo.
A photo: REUTERS
“Aid to Russia now, when a Ukrainian counteroffensive is likely to take place in August, as well as to consolidate the presence in the occupied territories, is unlikely,” he said. Ekaterina Entina, Professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics. – No one else will help Belgrade. This situation gives the West two brilliant trump cards: the first is to say that “the Russians have abandoned you”, the second is to “promote the idea that if there were no Ukraine, Serbia would not lose Kosovo.” The last story fits very well with all the statements of the Serbian president that “the great ones do not think about the consequences of their actions for small countries.”
Vucic, indeed, recently said this, and precisely in the context of Ukrainian events. It is obvious that the re-inflated long-standing hotbed of tension in Europe is akin to an attempt to open a “new front” in the West’s struggle with Russia, since things in Ukraine did not go the way they would like.
How Russia can help Serbia
Radio “Komsomolskaya Pravda” First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Konstantin Zatulin spoke out about this question So:
– In today’s situation Vučić must decide. He knows on whose side the sympathies of the Serbs are. But the West is using all its means to force Vučić to take his side. Russia should not be more Serbian than Serbia itself. If Serbia is determined to fight, then Russia must support it. If it is not in the mood and tries to find some way out of the situation in a different way, then in this case Russia should be sympathetic to this and cannot take on more than Serbia itself.
Most experts believe that Russian support for the Serbs in the current situation can be predominantly diplomatic and moral. It is unrealistic to talk about significant military and economic assistance. However, bringing the conflict to the hot phase is also not obvious. Still, the West heeded China’s warning about playing with fire around Taiwan – in the end, you can get burned yourself. This rule also applies to the Balkans.
How can the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo end?
The West is clearly escalating its confrontation with Russia and China, creating or resuscitating new hotbeds and points of tension. But on the example of sanctions passions, everyone has already become convinced that the ability to calculate the consequences, primarily for oneself, from attempts to crush another is not the strongest strong point of Brussels and Washington.
Stirring up the Serbian-Kosovo conflict and trying to keep it under control in order to force Serbia to “decide” on whose side it is, one can also miscalculate. Political events in Europe are becoming increasingly unpredictable, and the ruling elites seem to have dropped the word “compromise” from their lexicon.
By the way, Kyiv will definitely lose because of the storm in the Balkans. After all, it was he who until now single-handedly fought “in the interests of the whole world” with “Putin’s Russia.” And if another front of this struggle arises somewhere, then the informational blanket will most likely be pulled from Ukraine in order to cover up new fighters with the “Russian Mordor”.