BELGRADE, December 12. /TASS/. The Serbian Armed Forces are ready to protect their country and citizens, Defense Minister Milos Vucevic pledged on Monday.
"I have once again made sure and received confirmation in conversations with commanders and soldiers that the Serbian Army is ready to perform any task it receives from the Supreme Commander-in-Chief in order to protect the integrity of our country, the sovereignty of the Republic of Serbia and protect all its citizens," Vucevic said in a statement released by the Defense Ministry on Monday.
Vucevic, who is also Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister, stressed that the country's political leadership will do everything to preserve peace and stability, and that the Serbian army "is the strongest, most convincing deterrent for all those who have bad intentions and goals for our country."
"The army does not want any conflicts or wars, but it is ready to defend our country and all its citizens," the defense minister summed up.
Earlier, Vucevic said that the safety of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija was not adequately ensured, and that is why Belgrade was ready to dispatch additional forces there under UN Security Council Resolution 1244.
In his address to the nation on December 10, President Aleksandar Vucic said that Serbia would send a request to the NATO-led international mission in Kosovo and Metohija (KFOR) to deploy security forces to the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244.
Earlier, several hundred special police units of the unrecognized Kosovo invaded the Serb-populated north of Kosovo and Metohija in armored vehicles, blocking Kosovska Mitrovica. According to the Brussels agreements, Kosovo police forces are not allowed to enter the Serb-populated north without the permission of the leaders of the four Serbian municipalities.