And called on the United States, the European Union and NATO to exercise restraint to reduce tensions in northern Kosovo.
The Office of the High Representative of the European Union for External Relations and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, made a joint statement with the US State Department on the events in Kosovo.
The statement expressed the concern of the European Union and the United States about the tense situation in northern Kosovo, and said: “We call on everyone to take immediate action to de-escalate tensions unconditionally and to show maximum restraint to avoid provocations, threats and acts of intimidation.” The statement was included.
The NATO mission in Kosovo, KFOR, also announced that it supports dialogue between the parties to set up barriers at border crossings for Serbs and to ease tensions that have led to violent clashes with the police.
On the other hand, the Kremlin has denied allegations that Russia is exerting influence on Serbia to destabilize Kosovo, claiming that Serbia is defending the rights of ethnic Serbs.
On the other hand, the spokesman for the Pristina Court of First Instance reported that former Kosovo Serb police officer Diane Pantik, whose arrest sparked protests, had been released and placed under house arrest by order of the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Diane Pantek was arrested on December 10 for assaulting a police officer on the job. Kosovo Serbs set up barricades at border crossings and clashes with police broke out in protests that began with calls for Pantek’s release.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has called on Serbs in Kosovo to end protests in the wake of Pantik’s release, a Serbian official said Wednesday.
Tensions between Serbia and Kosovo escalated with the detention of Pantik, and two border crossings between the two countries were closed on 10 December. The Merdar border crossing was also closed on Wednesday to traffic.
For more than twenty years, Kosovo has been a source of tension between the West, which supports its independence, and Russia, which supports Serbia, which is trying to prevent its participation in international organizations.
The approximately 50,000 Serbs living in northern Kosovo refuse to recognize the government of Pristina or recognize Kosovo’s status as a separate state.
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