During a visit to Belgrade, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concern over the build-up of Serbian army forces on the border with Kosovo. He stated that this could further escalate the situation and called the violence in the north unacceptable. Stoltenberg also welcomed Serbia’s intention to prosecute those responsible for the attack in the village of Banjska.
In a joint press conference with President Aleksandar Vučić, Stoltenberg announced that NATO had deployed an additional 1,000 soldiers and heavy weapons in Kosovo after a recent conflict. He emphasized NATO’s readiness to preserve peace and called on both Kosovo and Serbia to reduce tensions and refrain from actions that could contribute to further escalation.
Stoltenberg voiced support for the formation of the Union of Serbian Municipalities (ZSO) and encouraged dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina under the auspices of the European Union for lasting peace and stability. Discussions also took place regarding the possibility of joint exercises between Serbia and NATO. Vučić emphasized the importance of cooperation with NATO, expressing hope that NATO could provide security for the Serbian people in Kosovo.
Stoltenberg reiterated NATO’s respect for Serbia’s military neutrality and highlighted the long-term partnership between Serbia and the Alliance. He praised cooperation between Serbia and NATO in various areas such as Science for Peace, energy security, environmental security, and cyber defense. After visiting Sarajevo and Pristina, he will continue his Balkan tour in North Macedonia to meet with leaders of NATO members from the region.