Tensions between Serbia and Kosovo
Like it or not, if a new fire were to be lit in Kosovo we would be facing a scenario of preparation for world war.
The timing won't necessarily be tight, but the way things are going it's a sword of Damocles.
The rumors about a new front in Georgia, the tensions over Taiwan, the tightening of relations in the blocs (Iran, in recent months, has speeded up the integration into the Russian-Chinese system), the Kaliningrad bloc: these were all terrifying news, but which remained either hypothetically or wisely confined as local.
As widely expected and predictable, the war in Ukraine is generating tensions and long waves in the Balkans as well. In fact, new tensions between Kosovo and Serbia are reported. The Serbs do not accept the new measures launched by Pristina on the ban on Serbian identity documents and number plates in Kosovo starting from Monday 1st August. Following the 1999 war, Kosovo had allowed the use of plates issued by Serbian institutions in four municipalities in the north of the country where there are Serbian majorities. From now on, the use of plates with the acronym Rks, that is Republic of Kosovo, will be mandatory. Car owners have until the end of September to make the change. The Serbs living in Kosovo then blocked the roads leading to the Jarinje and Bernjak border crossings, forcing the authorities to close them. Local media report that the KFOR has sent soldiers to patrol the streets.
Kosovo was a bone of contention in the last great European war.
NATO is ready to intervene.
Vucic said Serbia is no longer what it was in Milosevic's time, it cannot be defeated easily.
At the base of it all are the persecutions to which the Kosovo Serbs, majority in the north of the region, are subjected.
In late spring 2022, Serbia bought missiles (HQ-22 surface-to-air) from China.
When you buy weapons from someone, it's not like when you go to the greengrocer's. You bond with that someone, because that someone knows the specifics of those weapons.
It involves adapting some of your military technology and then entering a circuit that sometimes includes training and this means loyalty; something similar is seen in the relationship between the Turkish army and the US army and hence the post-coup purge of the 2016.
Vucic, showing the new missiles to the Serbs in May 2022, commented:
We will never be anyone's punching bag again.
Anyone who has been lucky enough to visit Serbia, will be able to find the signs of the NATO bombing everywhere.
Russia makes it known that the Serbs are ready to use weapons if necessary.
If Serbia and NATO were to come to a direct confrontation, while the war in Ukraine is underway, we would be facing yet another fire.
The world war will come and will not be announced on TV, one day we will simply understand that everything has changed forever.
We are like those who in the 1930s read about the Spanish civil war or the invasion of Ethiopia and thought they were local facts, then came 1939.