Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic announced, on Saturday, that Belgrade will officially request the NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo known as “KFOR” to deploy elements of the Serbian police and army in Kosovo in accordance with United Nations Resolution 1244.
In his address to his people, Vucic read out part of UN Resolution 1244, which states that Serbia has the right to deploy up to 1,000 members of its security forces in Kosovo.
He added, “We have agreed on a text according to which, in line with Resolution 1244, we will send a request to the leadership of the NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo to ensure the deployment of army and police elements in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija. The decision will be taken on Monday or Tuesday.”
The Serbian president pointed out that he is sure that the request will be rejected, but Serbia has the right to send troops in accordance with the United Nations resolution.
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He explained that the United Nations resolution “states unequivocally that this request must be accepted” and “confirms that the Serbian army and police will return to Kosovo’s territory in order to perform certain tasks.”
He went on to say, “They (the NATO force) will find countless reasons to tell us that (sending troops) is not necessary and that they are in complete control of the situation, although they have no right to do so.”
He continued, “We will seek new legal steps that will guide Serbia in the future. Our official and legal battle is yet to come.”
Kosovo, whose majority population is Albanian, seceded from Serbia in 1999 and declared its independence from it in 2008, but Belgrade still considers it part of its territory and supports a Serb minority in Kosovo.
Tensions escalated at the end of last July between the two neighboring countries, following the entry into force of a law announced by the Kosovo government, before retracting and postponing its entry into force for a month in order to calm the situation.
The law requires everyone, including Serbs living in Kosovo, to obtain an identity card issued by the country and to exchange license plates for cars from neighboring Serbia with Kosovo ones.
The law pushed the Serbs in Kosovo to withdraw from all local and central institutions, but an agreement was reached last month to end the dispute.
On Saturday evening, Kosovo President Fyuza Osmani announced the postponement of local elections in 4 municipalities in the north of the country, amid security concerns, after they were scheduled for later this December.
On Thursday, Kosovo began deploying more police units in the north of the country, two days after explosions and sirens were heard in the cities north of Kosovo, ahead of early elections scheduled for December 18 in 4 municipalities.
The Serbian authorities criticized the Kosovo government’s move, saying it was an “attempt to invade the northern regions of the country” inhabited by Kosovo Serbs, and that it constituted a violation of the Brussels Agreement.