The crisis in Kosovo continues to worsen as Prishtina insists on the removal of Serbian barriers in northern Kosovo and Metohija. As reported by CD Media, the Albanian-led government in the autonomous province escalated the crisis by denying the entry of Serbian Patriarch Porfirije into the area.
Serbs are upset that the international community has failed to condemn the latest provocation by the government in Prishtina. Amidst the growing crisis, the Serbian Patriarch called for peace and mutual understanding in the region. “What we need, first of all, is mutual understanding, co-existence, peace for Serbs and Albanians,” the Patriarch declared. “Serbs and Albanians have been living together in these territories for centuries: Serbs have lived in Kosovo and Metohija for 15 centuries, and Serbs and Albanians have lived here together for 4-5 centuries. If there is goodwill, you can find a way to live together and a way to have room for everyone.”
Porfirije expressed his dismay at the lack of any international condemnation of the provocative moves by Prishtina to deny him access to the Patriarchate of Peć, asking what the reaction would be if the Pope were prohibited to travel to the Vatican. “The whole world would rise up to defend the Pope,” the Patriarch said. “Is there another church leader in the world who can’t get into his home?... I’m asking the Albanians and the world’s great powers to help to preserve peace.”
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić also expressed his frustration with the response of Western countries to the growing crisis. “Each day, we are being told that our time is running out, that they will let Kurti remove the barricades,” Vučić stated. “It appears as though it suits everyone to exile Serbs, they see it as the only solution. Some would even want killing Serbs to be the solution.”
Vučić expressed his particular ire with Germany for its refusal to admit Serbian peacekeeping forces into the disputed area: “Instead of a response from KFOR, we received orders from different sides, especially from Germany, from its foreign minister, to the ambassador in Pristina, who expressed that the return of forces was unacceptable to them.” Vučić accused Germany of wanting total dominion over the Balkans, adding that Berlin wants inhabitants of the region to be completely obedient to German interests and blindly follow them.
Maria Zakharova, the official spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, warned, “If anyone is really striving for peace, firm adherence to international legal foundations is a key condition for a Kosovo settlement. Attempts to undermine or ignore fundamental UN Security Council Resolution 1244 provisions are untenable. The new flare-up in the province clearly shows that failure to comply with the applicable regulatory framework for Kosovo is only making the Pristina radicals want more, which makes an actual large-scale conflict a not-so-distant possibility.”
Resolution 1244 assured the territorial integrity of Serbia and access to Serbian cultural and religious sites in the autonomous region.