Starovic: Osmani's proposal for a de-escalation plan is quite flawed
State Secretary in the Ministry of Defense Nemanja Starovic believes that the proposal of the plan announced by OSCE Chairman Bujar Osmani for de-escalation and normalization of the situation in the north of Kosovo is quite flawed and that it lacks the release of arrested Serbs and the renunciation of further arrests, Novosti reports.
As he explained, when talking about the de-escalation process, the ball was in Pristina's court and it was up to them to withdraw the Special Police Forces.
"No de-escalation plan will lead to substantial de-escalation as long as we have a clearly expressed will in Pristina for de-escalation to happen in any way," Starovic said.
He added that, when we talked about when the state of heightened combat readiness of the Serbian army would be restored, it primarily depended on the assessment of threats and risks, and on the decision of the Supreme Commander.
"Even in the most positive scenario, if there is a withdrawal of special units of the Kosovo police, if there is a resignation of illegitimate mayors, all this will mean little to us if the so-called Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, starts arresting our compatriots from the list he made in the previous days," Starovic explained for Tanjug.
As he stated, there had to be goodwill for normalization, but unfortunately, the Pristina administration did not show that will.
"We have a diplomatic precedent that a general consensus has been established that speaks on behalf of all five countries that are permanent members of the Security Council, that the culprit for this round of escalation that we are witnessing in the last ten days is Albin Kurti, and the temporary institutions of self-government in Pristina," Starovic said.
He explained that this was good, but unfortunately, it was not enough, since such rhetoric had to be accompanied by concrete measures.
"I am referring here to the decisive pressure that the Quint states can exert on the Pristina administration to withdraw its Special Forces and release the detained Serbs. That would be an essential step in the direction of de-escalation," Starovic pointed out.
He said that the reactions of American officials did not mean that there had been a complete reversal in the approach of the US towards Pristina.
"Unfortunately, they will always support Pristina, but this could mean that there are changes in their attitude towards Albin Kurti. No matter how problematic the Americans currently consider Kurti's behavior while he is in power in Pristina, they are aware that some things are more difficult to implement with him in the opposition. It is necessary to carry out a thorough investigation into the events in Kosovo and Metohija. According to everything we know, the Serbs were conducting a peaceful, non-violent protest, they were not armed and did not shoot at KFOR members," Starovic explained.
According to him, if the Serbs from Kurti's list are arrested, there may be a new, more dangerous escalation.
"If the logical consequence of reading the lists is the action of deprivation of liberty, I am afraid that we are not going in the direction of de-escalation, but towards a new potential even more dangerous escalation," Starovic concluded.