“The only mistake Kosovo made in creating an army was ‘waiting five years,’ the country’s president has told the UN Security Council. But Serbia has urged the UN to ‘tame’ Pristina.

World powers are discussing Kosovo’s decision to form an army at a UN Security Council session on Monday. Serbia and Russia have strongly protested the move.

Addressing the council, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said he was “very much concerned and a bit afraid” by the developments in the region.

He urged international representatives to influence Kosovo leaders, saying that ‘someone has to curb, someone has to tame those people, because measures that they have taken recently are something that is not coherent with the 21 century.'” (Deutsche Welle)

The leaders of Kosovo and Serbia faced off at United Nations Security Council, days after Kosovo voted to transform its lightly armed security force into a full-fledged army.

Kosovo’s move has angered Kosovo’s ethnic Serbs as well as Belgrade, and also prompted warnings from NATO.

President Hashim Thaci said at the United Nations December 17 that it was a ‘natural step’ to establish an army to cement Kosovo’s status as a sovereign nation.

‘If Kosovo made a mistake, it’s only that we waited for five years to establish an army,’ Thaci said.” (RFE/RL)

“Jean Pierre Lacroix, head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) was briefing the Security Council on recent developments that have heightened tensions between Serbia and Kosovo, which became embroiled in conflict in the late 1990s, when Kosovo made a bid for independence.

Mr. Lacroix began his briefing, by pointing to November 21, when Kosovo announced new tariffs on goods imported from Serbia and Bosnia, raising them from ten to 100 percent. In reaction, Mayors of four Kosovo Serb-majority regions of northern Kosovo, announced their resignations, and the parliaments of their municipalities cut off official communications with the capital, Pristina.

Serbia, for its part, announced that it would only take part in European Union-facilitated talks with Kosovo if the tariff hike was reversed.

This was the tense backdrop, said Mr. Lacroix, for Kosovo’s adoption of three laws that provide for ‘substantial changes’ to the mandate, role and strength of the Kosovo Security Force. The Government’s intentions were clarified in a statement which announced the country’s right to have ‘an army, a multi-ethnic and professional force built under the highest NATO standards.’” (UN News)