The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, warned, on Sunday, of possible attacks on the European Union’s Law Enforcement Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), amid high tensions in the north of the country.
“The European Union will not tolerate any possible attacks targeting EULEX in Kosovo, or the use of violence and criminality in the north,” Borrell wrote on Twitter.
The European official stressed the need to “restore calm.”
Borrell stressed that “international staff will continue to coordinate with the Kosovo authorities.”
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He also urged all parties to avoid escalation.
Late Saturday, the Kosovo authorities announced 3 incidents in which shots were fired in different locations at police units that were on an official mission in the north of the country.
The Kosovo police said, in a statement, that “criminal groups blocked several roads in the north of the country and fired shots from various locations at police units that were on an official mission near the Gazivod Lake dam, on their way to the Brinjak crossing with Serbia.”
There was no official information about injuries or damage.
The Kosovo police had previously announced the closure of the two border crossings with Serbia in the north of the country for security reasons.
In turn, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic announced that his country 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 response, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, said that his country would respond to any aggression against it.
Tensions escalated between the two neighboring countries after the Pristina government’s attempt to ask the Kosovo Serbs to replace old car plates coming from neighboring Serbia with plates issued by Kosovo.
The decision led to the withdrawal of Kosovo Serbs from all central and local institutions, but late last month an agreement was reached to end the conflict.
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 it.