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Belgrade calls on Kosovo Serbs to remove barricades — RT World News


President Aleksandar Vucic says US and EU have given ‘strong guarantees’ in Pristina dispute

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met with representatives of Kosovo Serbs on Wednesday and asked them to dismantle the roadblocks they had erected, Belgrade Commissioner for Kosovo Petar Petkovic told a press conference.

Ethnic Serbs in the north of the separatist province had set up roadblocks three weeks ago, to protest against the arrest of several Serbs and the deployment of heavily armed ethnic Albanian police in their communities.

The EU and the US have given written assurances that “participants in peaceful demonstrations against [ethnic Albanian PM Albin] Kurti’s terror will not be stopped,” Goran Rakic, a local Serbian political leader, told Serbian TV Pink. In addition, the NATO peacekeeping force, KFOR, has also issued new guarantees “Kosovo Security Forces” will not be deployed in Serb-majority counties in the north of the province, he said.

Pristina police were also not supposed to be in the north, under the terms of the 2013 Brussels deal with Belgrade, which Kurti’s government said it had no intention of. ‘to honour.

Trucks and tractors blocking roads in northern Kosovo have not yet been cleared, however, as local Serbs await a visit from Vucic himself, which would arrive later in the evening.

“We don’t trust Kurti’s government. I can say that we don’t trust international guarantees either,” Rakic ​​said.

NATO bombed Serbia in 1999 and handed control of Kosovo to ethnic Albanian separatists, who declared independence in 2008 and have since demanded recognition from Belgrade. With the support of Russia and China, Serbia resisted American and European pressure to do so.

The current standoff began in late July, when Kurti attempted to abolish the use of Serbian documents and license plates in the north. After the EU and US persuaded Kurti to abandon the plan, in late November he deployed police to the north and had Dejan Pantic arrested – one of the ethnic Serbian officers who quit in protest against Kurti’s policy – for terrorism.

A Kosovo court released Pantic on house arrest on Wednesday, which Kurti’s party described as “an act of treason” according to the Pristina Koha daily.


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