RIGA - The Latvian troops participating in the NATO-led international peacekeeping force in Kosovo (KFOR) have not been affected by recent protests at the Kosovo-Servia border, Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (Development/For) said on the social networks.
Latvia participates in the NATO-led peacekeeping operation in Kosovo with a light infantry company, which has been integrated in a US-led multinational battalion and is involved in patrolling, defending own forces, maintaining combat capabilities and rapid response missions. The Latvian soldiers are also tasked with controlling 55 kilometers of the Kosovo-Serbia border.
Pabriks indicated that he was in touch with Latvia's soldiers in Kosovo and that their work had not been affected by the recent events. "Everything is quiet, the contingent is working according to plan. I am thanking them for their excellent service and building Latvia's reputation," Pabriks said.
Last Sunday evening hundreds of ethnic Serbs who live in northern Kosovo blocked roads leading to Serbia with trucks and other heavy equipment. Also, unidentified gunmen fired shots at Kosovan police officers, but nobody was harmed.
The protests were triggered by a new law requiring ethnic Serbs living in Kosovo to switch from Serbian license plates to Kosovar ones in the next two months. Many Serbs in Kosovo still use Serbian-issued plates, which the government considers illegal.