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Serbian president denies military surge on Kosovo border

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has refuted reports by the US and other countries of a military buildup along the border with Kosovo.

He informed of a “campaign of lies” following the recent shootings in which four people were killed and which had heightened tensions in the volatile Balkan region.

They have lied a lot about the presence of our military forces … In fact, they are bothered that Serbia has what they describe as sophisticated weapons. A campaign of lies… has been launched against our Serbia.

Both the United States and the European Union expressed concern earlier this week over what they said was an increased military presence on Serbia’s border. The countries called on Belgrade to reduce the presence of its troops there.

The Kosovo government has called on Serbia to immediately withdraw its troops and demilitarise the border zone.

Serbia denied Kosovo’s accusations that it had trained a group of about 30 people who opened fire on police officers. One policeman was killed in the clash, and then the gunmen barricaded themselves in an Orthodox Christian monastery in northern Kosovo.

Kosovo also stated it was investigating possible Russian involvement in the violence. Serbia is Russia‘s main ally in Europe, and the West fears Moscow may try to spark trouble in the Balkans to divert attention from the war in Ukraine.

Vucic has raised the alert level of Serbian troops on the border with Kosovo several times in recent months.

We will continue to invest in the defence of our country but Serbia wants peace. Everything they said they made up and lied, and they knew they were making up and lying.

Last weekend’s shootout near the village of Banjska followed months of tension in northern Kosovo, where ethnic Serb-dominated communities are demanding self-government.

Washington and Brussels have been trying to negotiate the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, but the two sides have failed to implement a tentative agreement that was recently reached in an EU-mediated dialogue.


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