Standoff between Serbia and Kosovo eases

Standoff between Serbia and Kosovo eases.
Standoff between Serbia and Kosovo eases. Photo by One Pixel Studio /

Serbia has started dismantling its barricades while Kosovo reopened its main border crossing after the latest peak in the long-running standoff between the countries

The latest surge in tension between Serbia and Kosovo eased as Serbia started dismantling barricades, after the main border crossing between the two countries was opened by Kosovo. 

According to a report in Reuters on Thursday, December 29, this resulted in easing the tensions between the two countries, following the roadblocks erected by Serbs in northern Kosovo on December 10. The Serbians had done this to protest against a former Serb police officer who was arrested by the authorities in Kosovo. 

The decision to start dismantling the barricades came after the former policeman was shifted from detention to house arrest on Wednesday.  

The report said that the Serbian government also announced an end to the state of alert, as both sides stepped back from any further confrontation due to pressure from the European Union (EU) and the United States.  

A statement by NATO´s peacekeeping mission based in Kosovo said “All parties should avoid any rhetoric or actions that can cause further escalation”. The statement added, NATO welcomes the removal of the barricades.  

The EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also commented on the situation in a tweet, stating, “Diplomacy prevailed in de-escalating tensions in north Kosovo. Violence can never be a solution”. He further added, “Urgent progress in dialogue” was still needed to resolve outstanding issues between Belgrade and Pristina”.


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