BELGRADE – Serbia’s president Tomislav Nikolic said on January 15 that Kosovo had shown it wanted war with after it deployed special forces to prevent a train painted with Serbia’s national colours and the words “Kosovo is Serbia” from entering its territory.
The train left Belgrade for Kosovska Mitrovica on Saturday, but stopped after Pristina said it had deployed special forces to prevent the train from crossing its border.
Following a specially convened session of the National Security Council, Nikolic said that by sending special police forces “Albanians showed they want the war”.
“We were on the brink of the conflict yesterday,” Nikolic said.
Serbia will send its troops to Kosovo if the Albanians kill the Serbs living there, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said on Sunday.
He pointed out that Serbia was not striving for a conflict and did not want to attack any country, but as a state must protect its citizens, according to its constitution.
“If the Serbs are massacred, yes, we will [send troops]. And not only the army, all of us will go there. I will be the first one, who will go there, that is not new for me,” Nikolic said following the session of the National Security Council answering the question whether Belgrade will send troops to Kosovo.
“As long as I am in this office, I will try to wage no wars but if it is impossible, as a commander-in-chief I will take the responsibility for each decision made,” Nikolic said.
The Kosovar authorities are opposing railway communication between Serbia and Mitrovice saying that it is a threat to the Kosovo’s sovereignty.
According to reports, Serbia officials accused Kosovo authorities of attempting to mine the railroad with bombs. Kosovo officials strongly denounced these accusations adding they found no explosives on the railway.
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Isa Mustafa said the move had been an act of protecting Kosovo’s sovereignty.
“The institutions of the Republic of Kosovo will always undertake such actions to protect the country’s sovereignty and not allow machines that will provoke with a message of occupation,” Mustafa told reporters outside Pristina.
“I have asked them [police and interior minister] to stop imminently the train entering Kosovo at any price,” Kosovo President Hashim Thaci told Gazeta Express, an online news outlet.
The United States ambassador in Pristina Greg Delawie said on Twitter that he was concerned about the train issue. Delawie called “for restraint from all parties,” adding “Need normalization not confrontation between Serbia and Kosovo.”