NATO reinforces contingent in North Kosovo

NATO has sent more troops into Kosovo after a week of violence between ethnic Albanians and Serbs in an attempt to stop an escalation of the conflict.

Serbian-Canadian film director Boris Malagursky believes this shows how deeply the alliance is concerned about the situation in the Balkans.

“They are sending 550 German and 550 Austrian troops,” he said. “They would not be sending troops into Kosovo if they didn’t estimate that the situation could explode into a larger conflict. And considering that the international community has an interest in solving the so-called North Kosovo issue, it would not be unreasonable to suggest that they are trying to fix this issue as fast as possible. And I strongly believe that if the force is necessary to do what they have planned, they will use it.”

Tensions were raised last week when Kosovar police seized two crossing checkpoints to impose a ban on imports from Serbia.

Border violence killed one Kosovar policeman and brought peacekeeping forces under fire.

Possible negotiation between the sides, however, can hardly change anything now, Malagursky says.

“Whenever the both sides are urged to negotiate, it is mostly… to get the Serbs to accept something,” he said. “The Serbs has already made many concessions to the so-called Republic of Kosovo – they’ve recognized their documents, the IDs, the license plates. So calling on the Albanians for negotiations is another call for Serbs to accept more things leading to Serbia recognizing Kosovo.”