BELGRADE, Nov 2 Drones of unknown origin were monitoring positions and military units of the Serbian army near the administrative line with Kosovo and Metohija, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said and promised to shoot down UAVs in the event of a repeat of this situation.
At the checkpoints that separate the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo from Serbia, Pristina's decision on the mandatory re-registration of cars with Serbian numbers came into force at midnight Tuesday. Kosovo “customs officers” have begun issuing written warnings to drivers with license plates received from the Serbian authorities.
The head of the Serbian Defense Ministry, Milos Vučević, said in the morning that, in accordance with the order of Supreme Commander-in-Chief President Aleksandar Vučić, the Serbian army has increased its readiness “to the level to be able to complete every task.” He stressed that “no one wants any wars and conflicts.”
“The drones filmed our positions in the ground security zone (5 kilometers deep into central Serbia from the administrative line – ed.) and our two barracks, I was notified by the President and the Supreme Commander, he gave the order to strengthen the “police protection” in the air, this order remains in force and will act constantly. If such things are repeated, we will shoot down every such device, as any other country would do,” Brnabic said on Radio and Television of Serbia.
She declined to speculate as to whose drones they might have been. Serbian media reported on Tuesday that MiG-29s were scrambled into the air, but the UAVs had already disappeared by the time they arrived.
Representatives of the Kosovo Serbs – the Serbian List party – held an urgent meeting with the President of Serbia on October 27, followed by a meeting of the National Security Council. According to the leader of the “Serbian List” Goran Rakic, in the event of military actions by the Kosovo Albanian authorities in Pristina, the Serbs will defend themselves peacefully and block the roads, but “do not know what it will result in.” After the meeting of the Security Council, Vučić said that Pristina's plan was to allow people to leave the region with Serbian license plates and not let them back. He stressed that Belgrade will not allow violence and killings of Serbs by the Kosovo Albanian authorities.
In mid-September, Vucic noted at a special meeting of parliament that the danger of a violent conflict in Kosovo due to Pristina's unilateral steps was close and serious. Then he spoke about the increase in the presence of units of the Kosovo Albanian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the transfer of employees and equipment to the Serb-populated north of the region.
In Pristina, local Serbs are required to re-register all cars with license plates issued by the Serbian authorities with the letters “KM” with Kosovo RKS symbols.
On September 20, 2021, the authorities of the self-proclaimed Kosovo banned entry with Serbian license plates and deployed a special unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs ROSU on armored vehicles and snipers to the north of the region inhabited by Serbs. In response, local Serbs blocked the road with construction equipment towards the two checkpoints “Yarine” and “Brnjak” and held the blockade, despite the attempts of the Kosovo police to disperse them using tear gas and special equipment. From the side of central Serbia, military personnel in armored vehicles were on duty on the highway, Mi-35 helicopters and MiG-29 fighters flew around the area. After that, in negotiations with the mediation of the Western countries, a temporary solution was reached with the sealing of symbols on the license plates at the entrance and exit from Kosovo and Metohija to central Serbia.