After intense tensions, Kosovo postponed the entry into force of new rules on the Serbian border

Roadblocks leading to Serbia were set up on Sunday evening in protest against the government’s border policy. The NATO mission in Kosovo (KFOR) called itself “Ready to intervene if stability is threatenedIn northern Kosovo.

Kosovo’s government has decided to postpone the entry into force of new rules on the border with Serbia for a month, sparking tensions in the country’s north on Sunday, where barricades were erected and gunfire was fired at Fontana. The postponement was announced in a government statement following a meeting with the US ambassador to Kosovo, Jeffrey Honiver.

The new rules, which were due to come into effect on Monday, require anyone entering Kosovo with a Serbian identity card to hold a temporary document while in the country. Pristina gave Kosovo Serbs two months to replace Serbian license plates on their vehicles with Republic of Kosovo plates.

As far as Serbia, which does not recognize the independence of its former province with an Albanian majority declared in 2008, it was a reciprocal move, Prime Minister Albin Kurdi said on Sunday. The moves sparked strong tensions on Sunday in Kosovo’s north, home to the Serb minority. Kosovo police said they were fired upon and were uninjured, and roadblocks were set up on roads leading to Serbia. Both intersections were closed to traffic. In its statement, the Kosovar government said, “All restrictions were removed and complete freedom of movement was restored“Monday.

European diplomatic chief Joseph Borrell praised Pristina’s decision in a tweet on Sunday evening, saying, “Immediate removal of all roadblocks“. On Sunday evening, hundreds of Kosovo Serbs gathered trucks, tankers and other heavy vehicles on the roads leading to Zarinje and Branjak intersections, an AFP journalist noted.

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In a press release issued on Sunday, the NATO mission in Kosovo (KFOR) called itself “Ready to intervene if stability is threatenedIn northern Kosovo. “Our work is fully focused on the daily implementation of the UN mandate to ensure a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all residents of Kosovo.“, we have added in this document, “General tense security situationIn municipalities in the north of the country.

Similar tensions in 2021

In a speech to the nation on Sunday, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said the situation in Kosovo was “no”.It’s never been more complicatedFor Serbia and the Serbs living there. “The atmosphere was boilingMr. Vucic added, “Serbia will winIf the Serbs were attacked. For his part, Albin Kurdi accused Mr Vucic of inciting “problems». «The next few hours, days and weeks will be difficult and complicated“, the Kosovar president wrote on Facebook.

Last September, In Kosovo’s north, tensions have been high since Pristina’s decision to ban Serbian license plates, with daily demonstrations and a ban on traffic at two border posts. Tensions between the two countries are now at their highest level in years and Kosovo’s fragile peace is being maintained by the NATO mission, which has 3,770 troops on the ground. Italian blue helmets were also seen in and around Mitrovica on Sunday. The two countries attempted to resolve the outstanding issues in 2013 with EU-backed talks, but little progress has been made.

See more – Kosovo announces a formal application to join the European Union by the end of 2022

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