Serbia needs to stop its activities aimed at destabilising Kosovo in order to end the violence in the north of the country, Kosovo's president Vjosa Osmani said on Thursday.

"The challenge comes from Serbia, a country that still needs to come to terms with its past," Osmani told Reuters on the sidelines of a European summit in Moldova.

"The situation is tense, but we need to make sure that we restore rule of law in Kosovo and understand that the threat is coming from Serbia's denial of Kosovo's existence as a sovereign state."

Osmani said Serbia was actively supporting "illegal structures" in Kosovo to destabilise the country from within.

"President Vucic needs to stop supporting criminal gangs if he truly wants peace," she said. "He is yet to show that." (Reporting by Andrew Gray and John Irish; Writing by Bart Meijer; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten)