NATO says it’s prepared to intervene in Kosovo if ‘stability is jeopardized’

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NATO-led forces are prepared to intervene in northern Kosovo if stability in the region is jeopardized.

NATO said in a statement Sunday that tensions are on the rise in the northern municipalities of Kosovo and that Kosovo Force Pristina (KFOR) was monitoring the situation closely.

FILE – A view from the road to the Jarinje and Bernjak border crossings, after Kosovo Serbs removed the barricades they had set up, in Jarinje, Kosovo, on Oct. 2, 2021.
(Erkin Keci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

KFOR, the NATO-led peacekeeping force, was established in 1999 with the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which came in response to the worsening humanitarian crisis.

Tensions are again on the rise amid a new government regulation that will compel people entering Kosovo with Serbian IDs to replace them with a temporary document during their stay there.

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On Sunday, ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo — a partially recognized state bordered by Serbia in the Balkans — blocked two key border crossings with Serbia to protest the new rule.

NATO said KFOR was monitoring the situation closely “and is prepared to intervene if stability is jeopardized.”

“KFOR maintains a visible and agile posture on the ground, and the KFOR Commander is in contact with all of his main interlocutors, including the representatives of the Kosovo security organizations and the Serbian of Defense,” NATO said in a statement.

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The new regulation was set to take effect on Aug. 1, but Kosovo announced later Sunday it would postpone the decision on license plates and Serbian-issued IDs until Sept. 1.

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