Avatar

Kosovo decided to postpone by one month the entry into force of



Reading time: 2 minutes

The Kosovo government has decided to postpone by one month the entry into force of the new rules at the border with Serbia that caused tensions on Sunday in the north of the country, where barricades were erected and shots were fired at the police, AFP notes, according to Agerpres.

The postponement was announced in a government statement at the end of a meeting with the United States ambassador to Kosovo, Jeffrey Honevier.

The new rules, which were due to come into force on Monday, stipulate that anyone entering Kosovo with a Serbian identity card will have to replace it with a temporary document during their stay in the country.

On the other hand, Kosovo Serbs whose vehicles bear registration plates issued in Serbia will have to replace them with Republic of Kosovo plates within two months.

Prime Minister Albin Kurti stated at the end of the week that it is a measure of reciprocity, to the extent that Serbia – which does not recognize the independence of its former province with an Albanian majority proclaimed in 2008 – demands the same from Kosovars who enter its territory.

These measures raised strong tensions on Sunday in northern Kosovo, where a Serb minority lives.

Kosovo police said they were the target of gunfire, with no injuries reported, and barricades were erected on roads leading to Serbia.

The two border crossing points were closed to traffic.

In its statement, the Kosovar government requested that

“all barricades to be lifted and full freedom of movement restored” on Monday.

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, welcomed Pristina’s decision in a tweet on Sunday evening, calling on

“immediate lifting of all road blocks”.

On Sunday evening, hundreds of Kosovo Serbs blocked the roads leading to the Jarinje and Brnjak crossings with trucks, tankers and other heavy vehicles, according to an AFP correspondent at the scene.

The Kosovar Serbs do not recognize the authority of Pristina, nor the independence of Kosovo and remain loyal to Belgrade, on whom they depend financially.

The Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic, declared on Sunday in a speech addressed to the nation that the situation in Kosovo

“it has never been more complex”

for Serbia and the Serbs living there.

“The atmosphere is close to boiling”,

stated Aleksandar Vucic, adding that

“Serbia will win”

if the Serbs are attacked.

For his part, Albin Kurti accused the head of the Serbian state of triggering “disturbances”.

“The next hours, days and weeks can be difficult and problematic”,

the Kosovar prime minister wrote on Facebook.