So far in Kosovo, NATO and KFOR have intervened exclusively to defend local Serbs, because the Serb community is the only community in Kosovo that is endangered and subject to attacks, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Nov. 11, following his sit-down with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Vucic went on to say that Serbia’s cooperation with NATO and KFOR is good and that, “as [the country’s] commander and chief,” he will ask the Serbian government to enable military exercises with the Alliance to continue.
“I’ve informed Stoltenberg of the fact that 13 percent of [local] Serbs have left Kosovo in the past year due to pressures, arrests and threats. If that isn’t violence, I don’t know what is – just as I’m aware that the West is only interested in what happened in Banjska,” Vucic told a joint news conference.
Stoltenberg stated that violence, such as took place in the north Kosovo village of Banjska – where armed Serbs clashed with Kosovo police in late September – is unacceptable and that those responsible must be brought to justice.
“Some NATO members were attacked in May [in clashes between local Serbs and KFOR]. In September, we saw another outbreak of violence in Kosovo. After the violence in Banjska, NATO deployed another 1,000 soldiers along with heavy armaments to Kosovo. This is the largest increase in NATO’s contingent in the last decade and demonstrates that NATO is prepared to preserve peace,” the general told the press.