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Moscow Calls on NATO, EU to Urge Pristina to Withdraw Forces From Kosovo and Prevent Escalation

© REUTERS / LAURA HASANIKosovo special police officers patrol as hundreds of Kosovo Serbs protest against a government ban on entry of vehicles with Serbian registration plates, in Jarinje, Kosovo, September 27, 2021
Kosovo special police officers patrol as hundreds of Kosovo Serbs protest against a government ban on entry of vehicles with Serbian registration plates, in Jarinje, Kosovo, September 27, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.09.2021
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Earlier, patrols of the NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR) arrived at a Yarine checkpoint at the administrative line between central Serbia and northern Kosovo and Metohija to maintain security and freedom of movement.
The Russian foreign ministry has called on NATO and the European Union to urge Pristina to withdraw forces from Kosovo north to prevent escalation.
Russia is concerned about the situation in Kosovo, events are developing according to a scenario from bad to worse, the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

"We are concerned as we see growing tensions in Kosovo, which were triggered by irresponsible actions of the Kosovo Albanian authorities ...Today it is obvious that the situation is degrading from bad to even worse ... We stress once again that the NATO forces for Kosovo and the EU mission ... have mandates for preventing iniquity and therefore bear full responsibility for protecting civilians and ensuring peace and security. It is time to put vigorous pressure on the Pristina administration to make it withdraw security forces from Kosovo's north and prevent the situation from slipping into open conflict," Zakharova said in a statement, released by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

On 20 September, Serbs residing in northern Kosovo staged a peaceful rally along the administrative line between the region and central Serbia against a ban on Serbian license plates imposed by Kosovo. The new regulation requires that all vehicles entering Kosovo be equipped with temporary, Pristina-issued license plates, which provoked dissent among the Serbian population. In the evening, Kosovar police deployed tear gas against the protesters at Yarine and Brnjak checkpoints, but they refused to disperse.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said in a special address that Serbia will call on NATO and the international KFOR contingent under the auspices of the alliance to protect the lives and property of Serbs in Kosovo. The special representative of the UN Secretary, Gen. Zahir Tanin, called on all sides of the situation in self-proclaimed Kosovo to avoid fighting and move on to dialogue.
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