Kurti: The risk of a new war in the region is real

He also pointed out that at a time when Europe is experiencing war, referring to the war in Ukraine, "we cannot ignore the threat of a new war in a region that knows very well what it means."

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Kurti, Photo: Đorđe Cmiljanić/Government of Montenegro
Kurti, Photo: Đorđe Cmiljanić/Government of Montenegro
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Prime Minister of Kosovo Aljbin Kurti said that Serbia is intensifying cooperation with Russia, China and Iran, warning that there is a real danger of, as he said, a new war in the region.

At the Defense Conference in London, Kurti said that Serbia's alignment with Russia, the "destructive approach" towards Kosovo and the enormous arming are "indicators that (Serbia) is striving for escalation with the intention of realizing its territorial ambitions".

He also pointed out that at a time when Europe is experiencing war, referring to the war in Ukraine, "we cannot ignore the threat of a new war in a region that knows very well what it means".

"Three of the four brigades of the combined Serbian Army, including 48 forward bases around the border with Kosovo, not including other specialized units, are stationed in the south of the territory, near the border with Kosovo. The threat is not only theoretical. The risk of a new war is real," he said. is Kurti.

Kurti also mentioned the attack on the Kosovo police in Banjska in Zvečan.

In September 2023, an armed group of Serbs attacked the Kosovo police in Banjska, killing Sergeant Afrim Bunjaku. Three attackers were killed in the exchange of fire.

Kosovo considers Serbia responsible for organizing and carrying out the attack, which Belgrade denies. Responsibility for the attack was taken by the former vice-president of the Serbian List, Milan Radoičić.

It is believed that Radoičić is currently in Serbia. Last December, the International Police Agency (INTERPOL) issued an arrest warrant for Radoičić at the request of Kosovo.

The international community has repeatedly requested that those responsible for the attack be brought to justice.

Kurti said that a group of almost 100 armed persons entered Kosovo "with a plan for a longer and wider conflict in the northern part of our country".

"It is not only the ranking of Serbia with Russia that suggests that the group's goal was to repeat what Russia did in Donbass in 2014," Kurti said.

He was referring to the conflict in eastern Ukraine that began in 2014 between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian troops.

Kurti said that there is "no doubt" who is to blame for the attack in Banjska.

"The attack on Banjska happened because of the seizure of the state in Belgrade and the aggressive and expansionist ambitions of those at the top," Kurti said.

He added that Kosovo is not the only country in the Western Balkans that is vulnerable to physical attacks.

According to him, the threat also manifests itself through the "huge disinformation infrastructure that Russia helped to build, which uses the NATO intervention to denigrate the West."

At the end of last year, a report on disinformation was published, which was prepared by the Balkan Research Network (BIRN) with the support of the European Union.

The report states that Kosovo is exposed to disinformation and narratives coming from Russia and China, which aim to incite inter-ethnic and inter-religious war in the country, criminalize NATO and reduce society's trust in Euro-Atlantic integration, as well as reflect the United States as bad example.

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