On the eve of the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine there are ominous warnings the Ukraine conflict could widen and draw in other countries.
America says China is considering entering the conflict as an active partner of Russia and will start sending weapons.
That was the focus of an exclusive interview with Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani at the Munich Security Conference.
“What he’s trying to do is to divert the attention of the West away from Ukraine,” she told Sky News.
“The way he would be able to do that is by creating other conflicts in Europe, whether we’re talking about Moldova, Georgia or the Western Balkans.”
As she spoke, pro-Russian politicians were rallying protestors in the Moldovan capital Chisinau.
The country’s government claims Russia is seeking to destabilise it.
President Osmani says the Kremlin wants the same in Kosovo via its ally Serbia.
She says Russia is using methods it employed in eastern Ukraine to foment civil war and destabilise the country in 2014.
“They tried to create false flag operations,” she said.
“They bring in paramilitary forces that are dressed in civilians within our territory through illegal routes, and then they send in weapons and they also send in green uniforms without insignia so that it doesn’t look like a traditional military attack.
“But in fact, they do prepare a lot of hybrid attacks, which is a mix of what these paramilitary forces do in northern Kosovo.”
Kosovo won independence after the Kosovo War that followed the break up of Yugoslavia and the intervention of NATO.
Several countries, Serbia among them, do not recognise it.
Kosovo accuses Russia of helping Serbia stir up separatism among the ethnic Serb minority in the country.
President Osmani says the international community is not doing enough to deter Russia from meddling in her county and others.
“Look, sometimes we feel just like when Poland and the Baltics were warning that this is exactly what’s going to happen many, many years ago, that Russia is going to go with a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and not just Ukraine, because they see other neighbours as temporary states.
“They were not being listened to.”
And as allies discuss how best to end the war in Ukraine the Kosovan president warned against any territorial compromise with the Kremlin.
“Genocidal regimes should not be rewarded with territory,” she said.