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EU to host Serbia-Kosovo talks in Brussels as tension grows

Wartime rivals Serbia and Kosovo are to carry high-level disaster talks on Thursday, which the EU mediators hope will de-escalate rising stress within the Balkans the place Russia has been making an attempt to additional enhance its affect amid the battle in Ukraine.

Hopes that the uncommon face-to-face assembly between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo prime minister Albin Kurti, to be held in Brussels, might produce a serious breakthrough are slim.

You are reading: EU to host Serbia-Kosovo talks in Brussels as tension grows

However officers overseeing the decades-old impasse between the 2 neighbours hope that a minimum of it might remove rising warmongering rhetoric by either side.

“All open points will probably be addressed and ought to be addressed by the EU-facilitated dialogue,” European Fee spokesman for overseas affairs Nabila Massrali stated.

“Each events should finish their hostilities at this level” and “act responsibly”.

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The newest tensions between Serbia and its former province of Kosovo soared late final month when Mr Kurti’s authorities declared that Serbian identification paperwork and automobile licence plates would not be legitimate on Kosovo territory.

Beneath obvious stress from the West, Mr Kurti postponed the beginning of the implementation of the measure for a month to September 1.

Minority Serbs, who dwell principally in northern Kosovo, reacted with anger, placing up roadblocks, sounding air raid sirens and firing their weapons into the air and within the route of Kosovo law enforcement officials. No-one was injured.

The Kosovo authorities accused neighbouring Serbia of instigating the riots as a way to destabilise the nation, which declared independence in 2008 after a Nato intervention that stopped Serbia’s bloody crackdown towards ethnic Albanian separatists in 1999.

Kosovo inside minister Xhelal Svecla accused Serbia and its ally Russia of triggering and supporting the rioting.

A sign reads I love Mitrovica in Serbian Cyrillic letters in the Serb-dominated part of the ethnically divided town of Mitrovica, Kosovo (Bojan Slavkovic/AP)
An indication reads I like Mitrovica in Serbian Cyrillic letters within the Serb-dominated a part of the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica, Kosovo (Bojan Slavkovic/AP)

“We see direct involvement of Belgrade, not simply of their rhetoric … but additionally in direct involvement of teams from Serbia, together with their safety companies,” he instructed the Related Press.

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“That is inflated and imported from Serbia and Russia, their so-called larger brother, to incite violence in Kosovo.”

Serbian officers accused Kosovo authorities of planning to chase all of the remaining Serbs out of Kosovo, saying Belgrade will use “all out there means” to cease the “pogrom”.

Because the EU appealed for calm, Mr Vucic visited Serbian military headquarters in Belgrade in what was seen as a thinly veiled warning that each one choices, together with navy motion, have been on the desk.

There are about 3,800 Nato-led peacekeepers stationed in Kosovo and any navy intervention there, Serbian or Russian, would virtually definitely create a wider battle.

Russian officers and their propaganda, that are very lively in Serbia, have been fast to hitch the pro-Serbian narrative, claiming the Serb minority in Kosovo is being oppressed and subjected to violence by majority ethnic Albanians – the identical narrative used as an excuse by Moscow for invading Ukraine.

There are fears within the West that Russia might use Serbia to destabilise the Balkans and thus shift a minimum of some consideration from its battle in Ukraine.

Elevating the stakes, Russian officers lately began advocating establishing a navy base in Serbia, which is surrounded virtually completely by Nato member nations.

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