Is Russia fomenting tensions in Kosovo?

 

23rd November 2022

I wrote a few months back on the tensions on the Kosovo-Serbia border. To recap, there were increased confrontations between ethic Serbs and Kosovans when the Kosovan government attempted to order the 50,000 Serbians living within Kosovo to switch from using Serbian car number plates to Kosovan ones along with other documentation.

The situation calmed after the Kosovan authorities agreed to delay their move to regulate the Serbians by a month, a deadline which was subsequently extended. But with the recent failure of EU-mediated talks to resolve the issue, Kosovo is now attempting once again to reintroduce the regulatory measures, which has led to renewed fears of potential conflict.

Rumours abound that Russia is fomenting the tension, because it suits it in many ways to take attention away from Ukraine. Approximately 3,700 NATO peacekeeping troops remain deployed in Kosovo – the KFOR force – to prevent any flare-up in the former Serbian province. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said: “Now is the time for responsibility and pragmatic solutions. Escalation must be avoided.”

Lt Col Stuart Crawford is a Defence Analyst and a former Army officer, author & broadcaster – sign up to his podcast at defencereview.uk

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