BELGRADE, December 27. /TASS/. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has accused the international community of escalating the conflict in Kosovo and Metohija.
"I think that yesterday’s ban to enter Kosovo and Metohija that the Pristina authorities issued to Patriarch of Serbia Porfirije and their hindering his visit to our sacred place - the Pec Patriarchate monastery - openly shows who organized it. The Pristina regime is only partially responsible for it," he said on Tuesday after a meeting with the Patriarch.
"It was enough to merely look at reports of those who had been announcing the discussion of what Pristina did for the whole day. <…> Why should anyone be so insistent on removing the barricades? I will tell you why - because they want to oust the Serbs from the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, because according to them, it is the only way to resolve the problem. I mean the Albanians from Pristina, some of the international community," he said, adding that he was "embarrassed to read" the EU’s statement.
The situation in Kosovo was aggravated dramatically on December 6, when the Kosovo police, along with EULEX (European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo) patrols began to seize premises housing electoral commissions in northern Kosovo and Metohija. Local Serbs repelled the Kosovars, who fled across the Ibar River. Two days later, on December 8, around 350 Kosovo policemen in armored cars intruded into the Serb-inhabited northern Kosovo and blocked the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica. On December 10, the Kosovo police detained Dejan Pantic, a former Serbian policeman, on dubious charges. In response, the Serb population erected barricades along a highway in several locations and took to the streets in protest.
In an interview with The Guardian, Prime Minister of the unrecognized republic of Kosovo Albin Kurti said that the barricades in northern Kosovo must be removed as soon as possible, but their removal cannot rule out the possibility of casualties.