https://www.rt.com/news/569558-nato-kosovo-serbia-vucic/NATO rejects Serbian request – President

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US-led bloc denies Belgrade troops should return to Kosovo, says Aleksandar Vucic

NATO has rejected Belgrade’s request to send Serbian troops to Kosovo over rising tensions in the breakaway region, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said.

In a “carefully composed letter” command of the contingent of the US-led military bloc in Kosovo (KFOR) “answered that they believe that the return of the Serbian army to the territory of Kosovo and Metohija is not necessary, citing resolution 1244” of the UN Security Council, Vucic told Pink TV on Sunday.

KFOR refrained from pointing out a specific clause in the resolution that would justify its decision, “since they have no right to refuse that request”, insisted the president.

Resolution 1244, which authorizes the presence of foreign troops in Kosovo, was passed in 1999 after a nearly three-month NATO bombing campaign against Serbia.

The US and many of its allies recognized Albanian-populated Kosovo as a sovereign state in 2008. However, Belgrade was reluctant to give in to pressure to do the same. It still considers the province part of its territory, with the Serbian position shared by Russia, China and other countries.

The rejection of Belgrade’s request to send troops to Kosovo to protect the ethnic Serbs there came as no surprise, Vucic said. However, the head of state added that he thought so “inappropriate” on the part of NATO to send a negative reply to Serbia on Saturday, the day the Orthodox country celebrated Christmas.

As for the KFOR troops in Kosovo, Vucic pointed out that he could not call their behavior unprofessional, but added that the NATO contingent in the region “just a tool” for the Western powers.

Serbia and Kosovo have had disagreements in 2022 over Pristina’s plans to ban Serbian number plates in the province. Heavily armed ethnic Albanian police had been deployed in Serb-populated areas, prompting the local population to protest and set up barricades.

Tensions in the region rose again earlier this week after two Serb youths, who, according to Orthodox Christian tradition, carried oak branches used to celebrate Christmas, were injured in a shooting near the town of Strpce. The attacker, who has been detained, is said to have been an Albanian national.

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“We have a difficult period ahead, but we will continue to fight and we expect a positive result.” said Vucic. The incidents like the one outside of Strpce are happening because of the environment created in Kosovo by Albin Kurti’s local government, he stressed.



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