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Kosovo president: Russia using Serbia to destabilize Balkans

Associated Press/Visar Kryeziu

The president of Kosovo said during a speech before parliament on Thursday that Russia was using “its traditional ally Serbia … to cause destabilization in the Balkan region,” Reuters reported.

President Vjosa Osmani, who was commemorating the 14th anniversary of Kosovo’s independence, also noted that Russia’s aggressive moves were generating consequences both in the region and around the world.

“Today Kosovo, the region but also the whole globe is facing dangers caused by the aggressive course of Russia,” she said, according to the news wire.

In 2008, Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia; however, it has not been recognized by Russia, which sides with Serbia in the dispute. Kosovo is seeking to eventually join both the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization, similarly to Ukraine. 

The development comes as Serbia has accumulated armored personnel carriers and battle tanks from Russia in recent months, The Associated Press reported in early January, raising concerns that tensions may heighten due to Serbia’s growing military arsenal. 

The news also comes as President Biden warned Thursday that a Russian invasion into Ukraine could happen “within the next several days.” Russia has amassed around 150,000 troops near Ukraine, though the Kremlin has claimed in recent days that it has pulled back some of those troops.

Western officials, however, have rejected that assessment, saying it appears that more troops have in fact been added.

“We continue to see critical units moving toward the border, not away from the border,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday. “There’s what Russia says, and then there’s what Russia does, and we haven’t seen any pullback of its forces.”

Tags Antony Blinken Joe Biden Kosovo Russia Serbia Ukraine
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