EU ready to sanction Serbia over northern Kosovo attacks, says official

EU waits for results of ‘proper, thorough investigation’ on Sept. 24. attacks amid ‘concerning’ new developments, says bloc’s spokesman

Agnes Szucs  | 02.10.2023 - Update : 02.10.2023
EU ready to sanction Serbia over northern Kosovo attacks, says official


The European Commission confirmed on Monday that the EU stands ready to impose sanctions on Serbia over the attacks in northern Kosovo if the bloc’s member states find enough evidence.

“The European Union stands ready to assess measures vis-a-vis Serbia if member states decided that they have enough information, enough facts” on the Sept. 24 attacks, EU lead spokesman for foreign affairs, Peter Stano, said at the European Commission’s daily news briefing.

Stano underlined that the EU will act when member states decide, as restrictive measures require unanimity from EU capitals.

He said the EU is waiting for “the final results of a proper, thorough investigation clarifying all the circumstances around the terrorist attack,” and stressed that the bloc expects “Serbia’s full and unconditional cooperation.”

Stano described recent revelations about a “huge stash of weapons in northern Kosovo” and the military buildup in Serbia as a “very concerning” development.

Kosovo’s Interior Minister Xhelal Svecla said on Sunday that he holds evidence that Serbia had been trying to annex Kosovo’s northern region and the attackers had been preparing for this for a long time at military bases.

On Sept. 24, a clash broke out in the village of Banjska in northern Kosovo near the Serbian border when a group of armed Serbs blocked a bridge with two trucks. A shootout erupted after the group opened fire on police, leaving one police officer dead and another injured.

Tensions rose so high in May in the area following municipal elections in ethnic Serb-dominated areas that NATO decided to deploy 700 more troops in the peacekeeping KFOR mission after 93 of its soldiers were injured.

The EU has been criticized for being lenient towards Serbia as it has only introduced temporary measures against the government of Kosovo for failing to take steps for de-escalation.

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, with most UN member states, including the US, UK, France, Germany, and Türkiye, recognizing it as an autonomous country.

Serbia, however, still considers Kosovo its territory. Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
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