'There Will Be No Surrender': Serbian President Calls for Peaceful Solution to Kosovo Escalation
21:53 GMT 31.07.2022 (Updated: 00:16 GMT 01.08.2022)
© Sputnik / Press Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation / Go to the mediabankSerbian President Aleksandar Vucic at a press conference following a meeting in Belgrade with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
© Sputnik / Press Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation/
The crisis emerged as Kosovo authorities declared that as of Monday all documents granted by Belgrade will be invalid, and its holders will be required to present interim certificates upon entering the region.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said after a meeting at the nation's General Staff on Sunday night that the arrival of KFOR commander in northern Mitrovica is expected around midnight local time.
According to Vucic, Pristina's move has been planned at all levels for a very long time. He also noted that the government asked international representatives to do everything possible to stop the crisis escalation in the region.
"It is important that the dialogue continues and that we try to solve things peacefully. I believe that we will have good news, I hope that this will be finished, not tonight, but tomorrow," he said in an address, per a translation. "It remains for us to come to the preservation of peace. Everything they did shows how prepared the attack on Serbia was."
Furthermore, the president specifically addressed the Serbs in Kosovo's northern areas, saying that the difficult political struggle is ahead of the nation, thanking his fellow Serbs for their "restraint and courage."
"Thank you for keeping the Serbian name and surname in Kosovo and Metohija," Vucic added.
Vucic emphasized that the government was working to calm the situation down.
"No matter how difficult it is, there will be no surrender, Serbia will win," he stated.
The Serbian leader specifically thanked everyone who supported Serbia and "expressed correct views," in particular Russia and its foreign ministry.
"I specifically want to thank, as we always forget to, because it goes without saying for us and for them, representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry, who accurately noticed what was happening and reacted very, very correctly," Vucic said.
He also thanked the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, and other EU representatives for the "correct reaction."
Vucic visited the General Staff earlier in the night, when he spoke with the command of the Serbian army in light of the escalation in Kosovo.
Shortly after the Serbian president concluded his remarks, Kosovo authorities reportedly decided to postpone the implementation of changes in the region for one month.
31 July 2022, 22:15 GMT
According to the proposed changes in the procedure, Serbians in the northern part of Kosovo will be impacted by the forced re-registration of cars with Serbian license plates that is expected to start at the same time.