With tensions high between tiny Kosovo and neighboring Serbia, air raid sirens were heard for about three hours Sunday in northern Kosovo near the border with Serbia.
Kosovo police announced Sunday evening that two border crossings were closed because of roadblocks set up by protesters, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti issued a statement Sunday claiming Serbians began blocking roads and shooting as the time drew near for a new Kosovan rule on travel documents to take effect Monday.
— RoINTEL (@RoINTEL) July 31, 2022
Tensions are very high currently between Serbia and Kosovo, with reports of barricades going up in Serb areas of the province and clashes. It’s an evolving situation tonight but it’s possible that Serbia has upped the ante as part of a geopolitical move coordinated with Russia
— Mark Urban (@MarkUrban01) July 31, 2022
The Kosovan government has said that travelers arriving from Serbia will have their travel documents from Serbia reissued by those from Kosovo that expire after three months, according to Radio Free Europe. New license plate regulations also take effect Monday that end the use of Serbian-issued plates.
Kurti said “aggressive actions” that have taken place were planned by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Petar Petković, Serbian director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, the Post reported.
“The law and order and security bodies of our state are gathering information, monitoring the situation and will act in defense of the law and citizens, our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.
Unconfirmed reports of gunfire in the Serbian border with Kosovo. Sirens sounding; circumstances unclear.
More to follow.
— Faytuks News Δ (@Faytuks) July 31, 2022
“The following hours, days and weeks can be challenging and problematic. We are facing the Serbian national-chauvinism that we know well. We will work day and night, we will be at the top of our duties, for you as citizens and for our democratic republic. And, together we will manage to maintain law and order by placing them in every corner of the country,” Kurti said.
Vučić stated that Serbia has “never been in a more complex and difficult situation [regarding Kosovo] than it is today.”
Speaking of Kosovan leaders, Vučić said, “If they don’t want to keep the peace, I’m telling you — Serbia will win.”
Copying language used by Russia before it invaded Ukraine, Serbian politician Vladimir Đukanović tweeted, “Everything seems to me that Serbia will be forced to begin the denazification of the Balkans. I’d like to be wrong.”
“Everything seems to me that Serbia will be forced to begin the denazification of the Balkans,” Vladimir Đukanović, a member of the Serbian Parliament and a member of the @avucic SNS. https://t.co/DOiKBneVi5
— Aldin Ademović | 4BiH.eth (@Aldin_Ademovic) July 31, 2022
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Kosovo’s plan to require temporary documents for Serbs “is a step towards their expulsion from Kosovo.”
“Russia calls on Pristina and the U.S. and E.U. behind it to stop provocations and respect the rights of Serbs in Kosovo,” she said.
In April, a convoy of Chinese planes brought Serbia an advanced missile system.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.