Kosovo police prevent provocative Serb propaganda train from entering Kosovo

Police in Kosovo prevented a train from Serbia painted with the colours of the Serbian flag and "Kosovo is Serbia" printed down the side from entering the country.

President of Kosovo Hashin Thaci said he had ordered police special units to the border to stop the "provocative train' which he claimed had not been cleared for entry by the authorities in the capital Prystina. The train was described in detail in a recent Digital Journal article before it was stopped from entering Kosovo. Thaci told the Gazeta Express: "I have asked them (police and interior minister) to stop imminently the train entering Kosovo at any price, Enough is enough,” Thaci said, adding that he was forced to take action after he saw the government was neglecting the issue.
Serbia does not recognize the self-declared independence of Kosovo which was a former province of Serbia. Many countries recognize the independence of Kosovo:As of 1 December 2016, 110 UN states recognise the independence of Kosovo and it has become a member country of the IMF and World Bank as the Republic of Kosovo.[139][140] The ICJ concluded unanimously in 2010 that Kosovo's declaration of independence of 17 February 2008 did not violate general international law.[141]
Ironically, the decision by the International Court of Justice that Kosovo's declaration of indpendence does not violate international law has been used by Russia, which does not accept Kosovo's independence, to support its own recognition of the declarations of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and also used it to argue for recognizing Crimea.
The Serbian government has accepted the legitimacy of Kosovo institutions following the Brussels agreement of 2013. Serbia retains effective control of a northern part of Kosovo containing about 40,000 to 50,000 Serbs who do not really recognize Kosovo and its capital Pristina. Over 90 percent of those in Kosovo are of Albanian descent. Both Serbia and Kosovo must reconcile as a condition for both joining the EU.
Serbian president Tomislave Nikolic reacted harshly to Kosovo stopping the train. He accused Kosovo of seeking to start a war and claimed: "Kosovo is Serbia". The train was to be the first link between the Serbian capital Belgrade and Mitrovica in northern Kosovo since 2008. Many of the Serbs living in Kosovo are located in the area of Mitrovica. Prime Minister of Kosovo Isa Mustafa said Kosovo would not allow in "machines that will provoke with a message of occupation". The Serbian president was forced to order a halt to the service. He claimed that Kosovan forces were planning to blow up the tracks. Ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo protested when the train was stopped. In 1999 NATO bombed Serbian targets but there was later a peace agreement and Serbian forces withdrew.


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