The conflict between Serbia and Kosovo dates back to the 1990s and has flared up again in recent weeks, amid rising tensions and violence in northern Kosovo. The situation has been worsened by the intervention of Europe and the US, which have been accused of trying to make the conflict larger and more complicated.
The latest escalation occurred on May 27, when Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian government sent armed security forces to take control of municipal buildings in four towns where ethnic Serbs had boycotted local elections. The move sparked protests and clashes between local Serbs and NATO peacekeepers, who were injured along with dozens of civilians.
Serbia’s president, Aleksandar Vucic, reacted by putting the army on full alert and ordering units to move closer to the border with Kosovo. He also accused Kosovo of violating the 2013 Brussels Agreement, which aimed to normalize relations between the two countries and grant more autonomy to Serb-majority areas in Kosovo.
Kosovo’s prime minister, Albin Kurti, defended his actions as necessary to uphold the rule of law and democracy in Kosovo. He also accused Serbia of staging the protests and inciting violence. He said that Kosovo was ready to resume dialogue with Serbia, but only on the basis of mutual recognition and respect.
However, both sides have faced criticism from their Western allies, who have been trying to mediate the dispute for years. The US and some European countries rebuked Kosovo for escalating tensions and undermining efforts to improve relations with Serbia. They also warned that Kosovo’s actions would affect their bilateral relations.
On the other hand, some European countries also expressed concern about Serbia’s military mobilization and rhetoric. They urged Serbia to refrain from any actions that could jeopardize peace and stability in the region. They also called on both parties to return to dialogue and implement their previous agreements.
The conflict between Serbia and Kosovo is one of the most complex and sensitive issues in Europe. It involves historical grievances, ethnic divisions, territorial disputes, political interests, and international influences. The involvement of Europe and the US has not helped to resolve the conflict but rather added more layers of complexity and pressure. The risk of a larger escalation remains high unless both sides show restraint and willingness to compromise.