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It had been coming for some time but now the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo is a fact.

A lot of Serbs live in Kosovo. From today, they must have a special document to cross the border with Serbia. Similarly, from today they are no longer allowed to drive around the capital Pristina with a Serbian number plate ( with a two-month transition period to get into line ).

The Serbian army has incessantly sent armed convoys to the border between Serbia and Kosovo in recent weeks. According to local sources, shots are being fired regularly in the border area. All Serbian Orthodox churches in northern Kosovo are ringing their bells every half hour because of the violent clash that has now taken place between Serbs and Kosovars in which there have been injuries and deaths.

NATO issued a rather dubious press release last night ( 31.07 ) in which it talks in understated terms about a conflict without specifying exactly what is going on and between whom exactly the conflict is taking place ( perhaps to leave a margin to involve Russia somehow, but Russia is totally out of the picture here ).

This press release reports that NATO will intervene - and in the conflict - and thus deploy NATO troops - if the stability of Kosovo is threatened.

NATO's KFOR mission in Kosovo currently consists of 4,000 military personnel from 28 countries.

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