The situation in Kosovo, where Serbs have erected barricades on the border between Kosovo and Serbia, is threatening an armed conflict, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic warned on Wednesday.
“We have to do our best, all together, to try and keep the peace. We are really on the verge of armed conflict because of Pristina’s unilateral measures,” Brnabic said at a conference with Serbian NGOs.
Serbia is still unwilling to recognize the state of Kosovo, which has declared its independence since 2008. About 120,000 Serbs live in Kosovo out of a total of 1.8 million people, the majority of whom are Albanians.
Belgrade is encouraging the Serbs in Kosovo to defy the local authorities, just as Pristina wants to establish its sovereignty over the entire territory.
Several hundred Serbs have set up blockades in northern Kosovo since December 10 to protest the arrest of a former Serbian police officer, paralyzing traffic at two border crossings with Serbia.
Tensions have escalated in northern Kosovo, home to more than a third of Kosovo’s 120,000 Serbs, since Pristina announced it would hold elections in Serb-majority municipalities after all Serb elected officials and police in the area resigned .
Kosovo authorities ultimately postponed the elections to April.