Kosovo's Parliament is set to vote December 14 on transforming the country's security forces into a regular army amid opposition from Serbia.
Serbia sought support from allies Russia and China on Tuesday in opposing the formation of a Kosovo army, warning that a military in its former province could lead to renewed clashes in the Balkans.
Kosovo's Parliament is set to vote December 14 on transforming the country's security forces into a regular army. Serbian officials claim the army would be used against the Serb minority in Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008.
Serbia has threatened unspecified retaliatory measures if the army is created. Serbia, Russia and China don't recognise Kosovo as a country, while the United States and most of the West do.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met separately with the Russian, Chinese and US ambassadors in Belgrade on Tuesday, saying that "continuous provocations" from Kosovo could leave Serbia with no choice but to "protect" the Serb minority.
Vucic said Kosovo's plans to form an army jeopardise peace and stability in the region.
"The irresponsible behaviour of Pristina could lead into a catastrophe because Serbia cannot peacefully watch the destruction of the Serbian people," Vucic said in a statement.
Tensions between Serbia and Kosovo soared after the Kosovo government last month introduced a 100 percent tax on Serb imports — an apparent retaliation for a failed Kosovo bid for membership in the international police organisation, Interpol, after intense Serbian lobbying.
Vucic said it's "completely clear" that both the formation of the army and the tariffs are intended to "force Serbs out" of Kosovo.
Kosovo split from Serbia after a 1998-99 war for independence that left more than 10,000 dead. Serbia's brutal crackdown in the province prompted NATO to launch air strikes to stop the conflict.
An armed intervention by Serbia in Kosovo would trigger a direct clash with NATO-led peacekeepers stationed there. Serbia recently increased its saber-rattling, including raising the combat readiness of its troops over a series of small incidents.