BELGRADE — Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said he will ask a NATO-led international peacekeeping force to permit the deployment of Serbian military and police into neighboring Kosovo, an unprecedented move that will likely escalate already-high tensions between the two Balkan nations.

Vucic made his comments on December 10 as ethnic Serbs in Kosovo protested the arrest of a comrade and former police officer on terrorism and other charges by blocking roads in several regions in northern Kosovo.

Vucic said Serbia has the right to send in its forces based on the 1999 UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

The Serbian leader said that the 4,000-strong international peacekeeping force, known as KFOR, has been unable to maintain calm in the ethnic-Serb regions of Northern Kosovo and that his government will make its request as early as next week.

Though he did not give any details on the size of the force he would seek, Serbian officials previously said that they will ask for 1,000 members of the armed forces and police to enter Kosovo.


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