Serbia and Kosovo risk conflict

The movements of the troops of Serbia and Kosovo on the border that divides the two states worry the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance, who fear armed clashes between the two sides. Kosovo is not recognized as a state entity by Serbia, but also by Russia, China and Spain, one of the five European countries to refuse recognition in order not to feed, even indirectly, the question of Catalan independence. The triggering issue is due to Pristina’s decision, which has been in force for some time, to refuse entry to Serbian cars, except with the condition of being registered with provisional number plates. The Serbian minorities present in the northern part of Kosovo did not like the measure and the tension has risen up to the damage of the offices of the automobile register and the blocking of roads. The northern Kosovar area is not new to such episodes because, essentially, the Serbian minority rejects the authority of the government of Pristina; Serbia itself considers the borders with Kosovo as simple administrative crossings, precisely because it refuses the recognition of the independence of what it still considers its province. Pristina deployed its special forces in Serbian minority areas and banned cars with Serbian plates from entering its territory, arguing that Belgrade implemented a similar measure, causing, in addition to the disturbances and devastation already mentioned, also the blockade of communication routes with the rest of the country through roadblocks implemented with articulated lorries by the Serbian minority. Belgrade perceived the deployment of Kosovar troops as a provocation to be responded to in a similar way: in addition to the Serbian ground forces now present at the border, the show of force also included the overflight of the territories of Kosovo with military aircraft. Belgrade’s request to Pristina is to withdraw the provision on the prohibition of the circulation of cars with Serbian plates to avoid a possible conflict. It is clear that these provocations, which take place on both sides, are expedients to raise in an instrumental way, perhaps for reasons of internal politics, a tension that has dragged on for too long without a definitive definition, capable of overcoming the constant state of danger. International diplomacy is aware of a possible military drift as a tool for defining the crisis and both the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance have taken action by inviting their respective countries to stop the state of crisis by withdrawing the armed sides that face each other. on the border line, stressing that any unilateral action will be considered unacceptable. Both governments assure that they have no will to want to provoke a conflict, but both, for the moment, do not seem to be working diplomatically for a confrontation with the other party; for Serbia, which officially presented its candidacy to become a country of the European Union in 2012, it is also a proof of its reliability towards Brussels, which cannot fail to take into account, in a negative way, a possible irresponsible behavior on the part of Belgrade. Albania also enters the question, another candidate country for admission to the European Union, with an application made official in 2014, which lives with concern the negative escalation of the situation, due to the natural ties with Kosovo and its Albanian majority: in this scenario it must be remembered that Tirana is an effective member of the Atlantic Alliance, while Belgrade is only an associate member; this places the organization of the Atlantic Pact in a difficult position, which is why the Secretary General has stepped up efforts for a peaceful definition of the question, however the danger of the explosion of a military confrontation within the old continent comes at a time very delicate historian for the European Union due to the serious difficulties that the relationship with the United States is going through. The possible need for a deterrent to a conflict, presumably, would see Brussels as the main actor, without adequate support from Washington: a test that Europe is not yet prepared for at the moment.