BELGRADE, December 27. /TASS/. The West is blackmailing Serbia by means of violence from Kosovars, demanding that barricades be removed in northern Kosovo and Metohija, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Tuesday in a joint address to the press with Patriarch of Serbia Porfirije.
"As if they have any right, they come from the West and threaten us, demanding that the barricades be removed. They say: ‘Time is running out, if you don’t do it, we will pit [Prime Minister of the unrecognized republic of Kosovo Albin] Kurti on you and he will do what we want.’ It is important to know that all you want is conflict, you want Serbs to be killed because it is more important for you to acknowledge the so-called sovereignty of the so-called Kosovo than how many Serbs are killed. I put it in simple terms so that everyone can see the truth," Vucic said.
According to the Serbian president, the Serbs blocked only those roads that are not used by anyone but them. He also recalled that the Pristina authorities had deceived the Serbs in Kosovo several times when they promised to establish a Community of Serb Municipalities but denied them the right to vote at referendums and elections, when they seized the building of election commissions and arrested policemen of Serb nationality. The president demanded the signature of NATO’s former Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen under the Brussels agreements be respected. Under these agreements, Kosovo can have no army, but they are establishing one, he added.
"All this is being done to oust the Serbs from northern Kosovo and Metohija. We are working with international representatives - with EU Special Miroslav Lajcak, with US Special Envoy Gabriel Escobar, with all others, we are using all resources, we are sparing no efforts to preserve peace. And these hysterical threats - ‘your time is running out,’ "Kurti will attack you,’ "Hurry up, Kurti will attack tomorrow’ - shame on you all, liars!" Vucic said.
Vucic met with Patriarch Porfirije to discuss the situation in Kosovo and Metohija after Pristina had banned the Patriarch from entering Kosovo ahead of Christmas.
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.