Vučić’s threats for troops in Kosovo, Venhari: Nothing constructive can be expected from spoiled of Brussels
Security experts do not believe that President Aleksandar Vucic’s request to send 1,000 troops to Kosovo carries any weight and was made by him with the aim of escalating tensions in the north of the country.
The head of The Geopost, Gynen Venhari, says that no more constructive step could have been expected from Vucic.
In a written interview for KosovaPress, Venhari stresses that at this point it is the European Union that needs to be more cautious and independent of Russian influence so that President Vučić should not be the spoiled of Brussels.
“I would be surprised if Serbia takes another step, any constructive step. Despite the fact that it has stated that Serbia will submit the request for the return of 1,000 military troops to Kosovo, despite the negative response. Vučić, as a puppet of the Kremlin, should not be treated like a spoiled of Brussels. He must receive a strong response from Brussels, as Germany has given him in this case through its chief diplomat. It can be seen from this case that the EU has not harmonized its policies,” Venhari stressed.
“Especially in relation to Kosovo, where both Lajcak and Borrell have different positions than Germany. I believe that in this matter, in addition to the countries they come from, Russia’s influence is significant. The EU should be independent of Russian influence, and this is best shown with regard to Serbia, Serbia cannot be treated that way by the EU, not only because it is an ally of Russia, but because it is even very aggressive on ground. Not only with Kosovo, but also with Montenegro and Bosnia,” he adds.
He said the Kosovo government’s decision to leave the removal of the Serbian gangs’ barricades in the north to the Serbs was the right way to go.
“The Kosovo government, in partnership with the Western allies, has done a good job in having KFOR decide to remove the barricades. I believe that the government itself could have intervened, namely the Kosovo Police, but knowing that the problem of the north is a bit sensitive, I believe it did so at the request of the allies,” asserts Venhari.
Tensions in northern Kosovo and road barricades blocking two border crossings with Serbia continue, while schools in the four northern municipalities are closed.
Venhari says those keeping the roads blocked are under pressure from Vucic and the U.S. and U.K. sanctioned person, Milan Radoicic.
According to him, very few people stay on these barricades at night.
“The support of Serbs for the Serbian list as the ‘organizer’ of the barricades has decreased significantly. But there is still pressure on the citizens of the north to follow their actions, namely those of Vucic and Radoicic. However, according to our understanding, there are no participants in the current barricades in the north, as it used to be the case. Even at night, very few people stay there. That is why the barricades are with heavy machinery and not with people in the form of a protest,” he said.
At the border crossing in Jarinje, Kosovo Police yesterday arrested Dejan Pantic, a former police officer and former member of the Serbian MUP, who was previously integrated into the Kosovo Police.
The security expert says that it is important for Pantic, who is accused of terrorist acts and an attack on the constitutional order, to follow all appropriate legal procedures and that it does not matter where the latter are held.
“Now the roads are closed. Of course, the security authorities have the option to take him to the south, but I don’t see that as necessary. It does not matter where a suspect of an attack is held. It is important to follow proper legal procedures,” he says.
While a Kosovar policeman was injured by masked individuals belonging to Serbian criminal groups, Venhari emphasizes the good work that this police institution is doing, stressing that it has recently been exposed to terrorist methods.
“Kosovo police show that they are very careful. They try as much as possible to fight crime on the ground, but lately they are also challenged with terrorist methods. The criminals led by Radoicic are already showing that they are ready to challenge the legal decisions of the Republic of Kosovo even with terror. Therefore, we can confidently call them terrorists. But this is another challenge for the Kosovo Police. However, the Kosovo police have given an excellent example of trying to protect Serbian citizens in this crisis, who are victims of criminal terrorist groups that, as we said, also challenge our constitutional order,” he concludes.
Otherwise, at a time when the situation in the north of the country is tense because of Serb criminal groups that have blocked the border crossings in Jarinje and Brnjak, the Serbian president appears to have added fuel to the fire with his warning on 15. December they will submit a request for the return of Serbian troops to Kosovo.
He said they will submit a request to KFOR on Dec. 15 to send up to 1,000 security forces to Kosovo.
Serbian media revealed part of the letter that the Serbian government will send to KFOR to allow the deployment of its soldiers in Kosovo under the current Resolution 1244.
The request lists the alleged reasons why, according to Serbia, the arrival of Serbian security forces is necessary, while the commander of the international military mission, Angelo Ristuccia, was sent together with the document six detailed annexes with data on the “vulnerability” ” of the Serbs in the north.
Members of the Kosovo Police continue their patrols in areas of mixed population in the north of Mitrovica, providing indiscriminate security and order for all.
We remind you that the barricades at the two border points with Serbia, Jarinje and Brnjak, were erected by Serb criminal groups on December 10, as a sign of protest against the arrest of the former Serb policeman by law enforcement authorities in Kosovo.
Pantic is suspected of organizing a terrorist attack on the offices of the Central Election Commission (CEC) in northern Kosovo.
Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti said he expected NATO’s peacekeeping mission, KFOR, to clear the barricades in the north. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Xhelal Sveçla said Kosovo police have the necessary capacity to act in that direction.
The U.S. Embassy in Pristina and the one in Belgrade also called for the barricades to be dismantled and said that Pantic’s arrest was being used as a pretext for illegal roadblocks.
Masked Serb criminal groups attacked Kosovar police, journalists, and the EULEX mission.
In the process, a Kosovar police officer was injured, for which he also received medical treatment.