Kosovo Security Forces are conducting internal talks with former Serb members about the possibility of their return to the KSF, Kosovo President, Hashim Thaci told Radio Slobodna Evropa. Additionally, the talks on the prevention of this, as Thaci called it, an unacceptable phenomenon that „does not help strengthen and further the development of KSF’s transformation into the Kosovo Armed Forces“ are being conducted. He further estimated that Kosovo is investing in peace and good neighborly relations and that it is now time to „lend a helping hand, not to stare down the barrel of a gun“. No one will be able to prevent the formation of the Kosovo Armed Forces, he pointed out.
Earlier today, Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin estimated that the departure of Serbs from KSF was „a very natural and normal reaction“.
„Why would any Serb take part in the desire to clash with Serbia? Why would he want to shoot at his neighbours, why would he want to take over the North or any other place? Why? This seems like a very natural and normal reaction of people who wanted their bread, looked for a job, but they realized that their bread cannot be an excuse to serve those who would like to fight with Serbs, with you, not with someone else, but with you. I think that this is a completely natural reaction. Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija love their people, they love their country, they know that they should not participate in any fake armies,“ Vulin said on the morning program of Pink TV.
When asked by a journalist of TV Pink about allegations that Serbia is placing pressure on Serbs not to join Kosovo’s security structures, he replied:
„What kind of pressure? Exert pressure with what exactly? They, you know, always justify all their failures, all their problems with Serbs and, unfortunately, not only those in the region, many other political factors blame Serbs for everything bad that happens. If it rains – the Serbs are to blame, it is the same in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.“
Vulin’s messages came after yesterday’s messages by the Serbian President.
Answering to an N1 TV journalist’s question whether Serbia placed pressure on Serb KSF members, Vucic said:
„My point is that Serbs should not participate in Kosovo’s security forces. They say we’re pressuring. If the pressure is to say that we do not want a Serb to shoot at Serbs, because – to what purpose will that army serve? Do not tell me it will attack Albanians in Albania or Albanians in Macedonia, or Albanians in Montenegro with whom they have a border, who will they attack? It only makes sense if they go against Serbs and Serbia, right? Does anyone really think that it is normal for Serbs to shoot at each other as we used to, similar to the times when participating in the Turkish and Austrian militaries, to shoot at each other? I think that’s really not normal. If you think that I’m putting pressure, you call it the way you want it,“ he said.
According to the latest information from Kosovo institutions, over 40 Serb members asked to leave the KSF. The first news on the collective departure of Serbs arrived in early July when eight Serb members requested „demobilization“ or „termination of the contract“ with the KSF. The Serb members turned out to be from the Gnjilane region and were part of this organisation for a number of years, but, as Kosovo media reported, they claimed that they were forced to do so. Kosovo officials say the motive for the departure of Serb members is „direct pressure by official Belgrade authorities,“ along with „blackmail and threats“.
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