Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti has called for an increased presence of NATO peacekeeping personnel in his country.
Speaking to the German daily Die Welt on Sunday, Kurti said "a massive bolstering of NATO troops and military equipment" in his country "would improve security and peace" not only in Kosovo but in the entire West-Balkan region.
"An increase in the number of soldiers in the NATO-supplied peacekeeping force KFOR would support our efforts in defense," he said, showing the accumulation of Serbian forces on the border and Russia as reasons.
Kosovo currently has nearly 4,000 troops, called the Kosovo Force or KFOR, on the ground and the force has been present in Kosovo since 1999.
Tensions between Kosovo and Serbia have escalated since the Dec. 10, 2022 detention of former Serbian police officer Dejan Pantic on suspicion of attacking election officials.
Protesting Pantic’s arrest, Kosovo Serbs have been standing guard at barricades they set up at border crossings since Dec. 10.
Two new barricades were set up after Kosovar authorities blocked Serbian Patriarch Porfirije from entering the country ahead of Orthodox Christmas celebrations.