In Kosovo’s ethnically-divided town of Mitrovica, a Serbian minister has vowed that Belgrade will defend the province by what he calls “all means”.
Serbia’s Minister for Infrastructure, Velimir Ilic, laid flowers at the monument dedicated to Serbs who died during NATO airstrikes in 1999.
He said Kosovo “will remain part of Serbia forever”. He added: “We will defend it by all means, diplomatic and anything else we’re forced to use. We will not lose Kosovo.”
He also said Serbia will take care of the province, building new homes for Serbs and providing financial help.
The visit comes as Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leaders prepare to declare independence early this year. This after the failure of lengthy talks between both sides.
Russia is against Kosovo’s independence, while it is expected the US and key EU states would back such a move.