PRISTINA/BELGRADE - NATO troops in Kosovo are ready to act to quell any violence when Pristina sends its police and customs officers to take over two border posts in the north of the former Serbian province on Friday, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.
Serbia, which opposes Kosovo's independence, has warned the takeover of the border crossings could spark violent clashes.
"Let me be very clear there can be no turning back. NATO has spent 12 years ensuring stability and security and we will not allow that achievement to be put at risk," Rasmussen told reporters in Pristina on Thursday.
"KFOR troops have to act in self-defence and...they also have to act if it is necessary to maintain a safe and secure environment," he said, referring to NATO's 6,000-strong peacekeeping force in Kosovo.