Serbian President Alexander Vučić, who is also the country's supreme commander, ordered to put the entire Serbian army on high alert, RTS reports. The order was transferred to the Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces.
As you know, about 60 special forces from Kosovo entered the territory adjacent to the lake, which supplies water to the Gazikode hydroelectric power station on the border of Serbia and Kosovo. Then they occupied the Center for Ecology and Sports in the village of Zubin Potok. According to the Serbian police, Serbs "who did not commit any offenses" were detained.
After the seizure of the hydroelectric power station, the president of Kosovo took a boat ride on Lake Gazivode. The head of the Kosovo Police and the Minister of Finance came with him.
The trip lasted about 15 minutes. After the on the boat, he got into the car and left together with special forces and police. The special forces also left the facilities.
Earlier we reported that Kosovo, which has a population of 1.8 million and is mainly ethnic Albanian, declared independence from Belgrade in 2008, almost a decade after NATO air strikes ousted Serbian forces and halted a crackdown on ethnic Albanians in a counter-insurgency.
It is now recognized by more than 100 nations but not by Serbia, Russia, and five EU states.
A minority of Kosovo’s remaining Serbians live in small enclaves in areas mainly populated by Albanians who account for more than 90 percent of the Kosovo population. The majority of Kosovo’s Serbs live in northern areas bordering Serbia and do not recognize Pristina institutions.
“Vucic should apologize for crimes committed and massacres all over Kosovo,” said one banner on the road to Banje, which was blocked by cars and a truck.
“Vucic will not pass,” another read.
The Serbian president had told reporters in the morning that he will try to use a bypass road to visit the village.
Normalizing bilateral ties is a key condition for both Kosovo and Serbia to advance towards their eventual goal of EU membership.
Expectations of an agreement that would involve a land swap proposed by both Belgrade and Pristina dimmed after a face-to-face meeting between Vucic and his Kosovo counterpart, Hashim Thaci, was abruptly canceled on Friday.