‘Armor’ for Serbia: Why Eastern Europe is on the brink of a new war

Elena Stafeeva

Against the background of the aggravation of the situation in Kosovo, Russia will send Pantsir complexes to Serbia to participate in the Slavic Shield 2021 exercises. Political analysts believe that the American failure in Afghanistan is becoming a “window of opportunity” for the whole world to regain lost ground. NATO is hardly ready to repeat the bombing of 1999, and Belgrade has long and methodically prepared for military clashes in order to protect the Serbs living in the north of the unrecognized republic.

“In the event of a pogrom, we are waiting for NATO’s reaction for 24 hours, otherwise Serbia will react on its own,” said Vucic, speaking on television.

He also explained that Belgrade is not sending troops to Kosovo, as this is contrary to the Kumanov agreement and Serbia is trying to keep the peace. Belgrade is not only monitoring the situation closely, but also supplying the Serb people in Kosovo, the country’s leader said. He noted that the visit of Russ-ian Ambassador Alexander Botan-Kharchenko to the Yarina checkpoint proves Moscow’s support for the territorial integrity of Serbia.

Why the situation in Kosovo has escalated

The majority of the inhabitants of the north of Kosovo are Serbs, who are threatened with pogroms. Belgrade intends to prevent this. The source of the conflict was the decision of the Pristina authorities to impose a ban on the passage of cars with Serbian numbers in Kosovo on September 15. The fact is that the Serbs prefer to register their transport in Belgrade and not in the Republic of Kosovo.

According to the new requirements, drivers were required to issue temporary Kosovo license plates from September 20 in order to move around the territory of the unrecognized republic.

After that, there were cases of attacks, beatings of Serbian drivers and the seizure of not only private vehicles with Belgrade license plates, but also ambulances and trucks carrying food. Local Serbs abandoned innovations and erected barricades near two checkpoints on the border with Central Serbia.In addition, the Kosovo authorities brought in police special forces to the north.

In response, Belgrade responded by pulling together special forces to the administrative border with the province. The latest military equipment and aviation were involved. NATO had to increase its patrolling of the region. Meanwhile, Kosovar Albanian leader of the Self-Determination Party, Albin Kurti, is stirring up the situation by giving interviews about the unification of Kosovo and Albania, which will be supported by Albanians on both sides.

The escalation of conflicts around the world will continue, says political analyst Oleg Matveychev. Even if NATO refuses to resolve the conflict in Kosovo and supports the unrecognized republic, Belgrade will win a moral victory anyway, because 20 years ago, Albanian youth fought for Kosovo, considering it their homeland, and now they will be the people of drug lords.

  • A serious weakening of the US positions, their withdrawal from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan influenced the resumption of conflicts in the former hot spots, which were previously suppressed by the forces of America and NATO. Vucic worked for a long time and methodically to persuade the world community in its favor, moreover, Europe is forced to observe the growth of the world’s largest hub for the transit of drugs and weapons, which has become the unrecognized Republic of Kosovo, and it clearly does not like it.

The trade in smuggling and even human organs extends to the countries of the western part of the European Union, – said political scientist Oleg Matveychev. Accordingly, the sympathies of the Europeans, who were once on the side of the Kosovars, evaporated. Therefore, Serbia now has a chance to raise the stakes in the game and is forcing NATO to react, which will not be a very pleasant result for the Albanians.

If pogroms begin in the north of Kosovo, Belgrade will bring in its troops.

The Serbs have enough military forces for this, the Albanians will not be able to oppose anything to this. The only question is what kind of participation KFOR (an international force under the leadership of NATO) stationed in Kosovo will take in the conflict, asks the Balkan political scientist Oleg Bondarenko.

  • The number of Serbs living in the north of Kosovo is slightly less than 100 thousand people. It is about control over three communities. The well-armed Serbian Army is capable of solving the issue of protecting this part of the republic on its own, without the support of other countries, ”Bondarenko said. Another thing is curious – just a month before the introduction of the new rules, which led to tensions, the United States handed over 55 M1117 combat vehicles to the Kosovo security forces. These armored vehicles can fight in difficult terrain and have good mine protection.

The Russian Foreign Ministry drew attention to this “act of gratuitous aid” back in June, demanding that the United States stop pumping arms into Pristina.

The transfer of troops to the border with Kosovo suggests that the NATO-KFOR forces are doing practically nothing and the Serb population is being persecuted. It all started after the conflict on September 26 between police and Serbs, someone was hospitalized. The contradictions that have accumulated since 1999 have reached a critical point.

This is also related to the statement of Vucic, who said this directly. Only Belgrade can protect the life of Serbs, explains military expert Alexei Leonkov.

“Vucic intends to conduct a dialogue with Europe, he asked Brussels a question. It is not yet very clear how the exacerbation will end. Everything should be resolved during this week. Otherwise, some kind of hostilities will begin within 24 hours. Belgrade has been preparing for the development of any events for a long time. The main question is how the KFOR forces will react. It is unlikely that Serbia will fight with NATO forces, which number five thousand troops and include a contingent from different European countries. Belgrade will not have enough resources for a long operation.” Alexey Leonkov, Military expert.

On September 22, 1991, the Republic of Kosovo declared independence, a month later Albania recognized it. Currently, Kosovo’s independence from Serbia is recognized by 98 states out of 193 members of the United Nations (UN), almost all countries of the European Union and NATO.

Leave a Comment