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Speaker calls escalation of Kosovo situation ‘dangerous’, says new provocations possible

Konstantin Kosachev also stressed that in this situation Brussels, even if it wanted to avoid an escalation of tensions, "in fact, even here has driven itself into a trap similar to the Ukrainian one"

MOSCOW, December 12. /TASS/. The escalation of the situation in Kosovo is extremely dangerous for Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and the Serbian population, as Western pressure will only increase, Federation Council deputy speaker Konstantin Kosachev said on Monday.

"A dangerous but by no means unexpected escalation in Kosovo happened on Sunday, and it was a difficult one for the Serbian leadership. President Aleksandar Vucic said: ‘We are nailed to the wall’. The situation is indeed extremely difficult for him personally and for the Serbian population of Kosovo," the senator wrote on his Telegram channel.

He noted that the West "in conditions of increased stakes in the conflict with Russia" has long wanted to force Serbia not only not to support Russia, but not even to take a neutral position. "And therefore the pressure will only increase, further provocations are possible as never before," Kosachev pointed out. According to him, Belgrade is trying to rely on the arrangements concluded under the EU auspices with the mediation efforts of the West, which, in the lawmaker’s opinion, is useless.

The official also stressed that in this situation Brussels, even if it wanted to avoid an escalation of tensions, "in fact, even here has driven itself into a trap similar to the Ukrainian one." "Unconditional support for one side of the conflict not only leaves no room for mediation and diplomacy, but also makes the EU itself a hostage of Pristina, just like Kiev in the Ukrainian conflict. Kosovo could easily escalate the conflict, provoking the use of force by Serbia. And the EU will have no choice but to continue supporting Pristina and condemning Belgrade, which, by the way, the EU is already doing," Kosachev said.

He drew attention to Vucic's remarks that the West should not be trusted after former German Chancellor Angela Merkel's statement that the Minsk agreements were signed in order to give Ukraine time to become stronger. "We realized that a little earlier, but better late than never," the senator concluded.

Escalation of tensions in Kosovo

A new escalation of tensions in northern Kosovo came after the December 10 detention of former Serbian policeman Dejan Pantic. He was detained by Kosovo police at the Jarinje administrative boundary line between Kosovo and Metohija and Central Serbia. In retaliation, the Serbian population blocked the highway in several locations near the checkpoint with barricades and protested. The Serbs wanted to prevent Pantic from being taken to Pristina. The EU’s EULEX (European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo) and the NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR) also took patrols to the barricades.

Later, the Prime Minister of the unrecognized Kosovo, Albin Kurti, demanded that the Serbs remove the barricades by the evening of December 11. Otherwise, he threatened to launch a Kosovo police operation to remove the barricades.

On December 11, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic announced that international agreements and resolutions aimed at solving the Kosovo issue had no importance for Kurti. She pointed out that he regarded calls for peace and stability, for an open and honest dialogue, for respect for and the full implementation of all agreements reached in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue only as a threat.