EU concerned about 'inflammatory rhetoric' of Serbia, Kosovo
The EU claims senior politicians of Serbia and Kosovo will be held responsible for any escalation that leads to any increased tensions.
The European Union is disturbed by the provocative statements made by senior officials of Serbia and Kosovo, wary that they may stoke more tension in the region, the European External Action Service (EEAS) said on Sunday.
On Thursday, Serbian President Alexandar Vucic accused Kosovo of preparing to kill Serbian population in northern Kosovo.
The top official also accused Pristina of using the Ukraine war to campaign against Serbia.
"The recent increase of inflammatory rhetoric between officials of Kosovo and Serbia, in particular, the statements about war and conflict in the Western Balkans are of great concern," the EEAS expressed in a statement.
"Senior politicians of the two Parties will be held responsible for any escalation that leads to any increased tensions and, potentially violence in the region," the statement read.
It added that the EU believes that both sides should immediately abandon "mutual hostilities and dangerous statements" and act reasonably and responsibly.
The EEAS stressed that all unresolved issues between Belgrade and Pristina should be discussed under the EU-facilitated dialogue.
It is noteworthy that the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo accepted the invitation of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to meet in Brussels on August 18 and resume discussions on normalization of relations after a flare-up in early August over new border rules.
The latest flare-up between the two countries was triggered by Pristina declaring plans to introduce new border rules.
The Kosovo authorities had announced that starting August 1, Serbian-issued documents would be invalid and their owners would receive temporary certificates when entering Kosovo.
At the same time, Kosovo was going to start mandatory re-registration of vehicles with Serbian license plates, which would affect Serbians in the northern part of Kosovo and several other towns. This caused tensions at the border, prompting Kosovo to postpone the entry restrictions until September 1.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in late July that Moscow has urged Pristina, as well as the United States and the European Union, which back the Kosovo authorities, to halt provocations and respect the rights of Kosovo's Serbs.
Similarly, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov had affirmed that Russia supports Serbia's stance amid the current tensions on borders with Kosovo.
On his part, Speaker of the Russian State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, blamed the conflict on the Serbia-Kosovo border on the US.
"Washington is to blame for the conflict on border between Serbia and Kosovo. Its goal is quite obvious - to weaken countries daring to take an independent position. The methods are quite typical. Nothing new. First, the United States supports nationalist moods, fuels them, and then, it pushes to armed conflicts," Volodin explained.