(MENAFN- UkrinForm) Russia is looking to open new theaters of war to distract NATO from further assisting Ukraine in the ongoing war Russia unleashed in Feb 2022.
That's according to the head of the Center for Defense Reforms, coordinator of the interdepartmental platform for countering hybrid threats, which operates within the framework of Ukraine-NATO cooperation, Oleksandr V. Danylyuk, Ukrinform reports citing guildhall .
To this end, Russian intelligence services are engaging with both the Serbs and Kosovars, in order to provoke a conflict in Kosovo, and also intend to push Taiwan to declare formal independence in order to draw China into a major military conflict, the expert believes.
“The Russian Federation is actively looking for opportunities to open new theaters of war that would distract NATO from helping Ukraine. Kosovo with Prigozhin's men (the so-called Wagner Group - ed.) on the Serbian side and Kadyrov's men who pretend to be anti-Kadyrovites, as well as the GRU men (Russia's defense intelligence – ed.) on both sides - this is about testing the ground,”said Danylyuk.
“The main task is to draw China into a war with Taiwan, and to this end, they will be actively pushing the Taiwanese to declare formal independence,” concluded the head of the Center for Defense Reforms.
It should be recalled that on May 29, the Kosovo police and members of the NATO-led security forces were forced to defend municipal buildings in Zvecan (Kosovo) from ethnic Serb provocateurs.
The attack by ethnic Serbs on the administrative buildings in three municipalities in Kosovo with the aim of seizing them did not lead to a destabilization thanks to the efforts of NATO forces. The NATO peacekeeping mission reported that 25 NATO troops defending municipalities were injured during riots. Read also: russian propaganda in balkan region: pro-kremlin narratives in local online media
On May 26, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic put the country's armed forces on high alert, sending soldiers closer to the border with Kosovo. According to the Robert Lansing Institute think tank, the latest car burnings in northern Kosovo, an act orchestrated by Belgrade, now signal Serbia's obstruction of the agreement. Meanwhile, Belgrade said it was pointless to negotiate while the incidents in the north of Kosovo continue. Vučić wants to bring tension back to Kosovo.
In March in Ohrid, Vučić and Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti tentatively agreed on an agreement to normalize relations between the states, but did never signed it.
In response, Serbian nationalists and Orthodox Christians who advocate Russia ties took to the streets of Belgrade to protest the Western plan to normalize the situation between Serbia and Kosovo.