Kosovo: Serbian license plates on cars end – Rage in Belgrade

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“If they dare to persecute and kill Serbs, Serbia will win,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told a press conference.

His government’s decision of Kosovo for the replacement by August 1st of all Serbian license plates causes tension on the Belgrade-Pristina line.

Alpmin Kurti’s government has given owners of vehicles in northern Kosovo with plates issued by Serbian authorities a month to replace them with Kosovo plates. Also, starting today at midnight, Serbian police identity cards will not be accepted for entry into Kosovo, and their holders will obtain a temporary document at the border that will guarantee them a 90-day stay. It is noted that most Serbs in northern Kosovo are holders of Serbian police ID cards and use Serbian license plates on their vehicles.

Belgrade’s reaction was immediate. The president of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic in an emergency press conference he expressed his concern about the situation and estimated that Pristina’s intention is to force the Serbs to leave Kosovo. “We will not yield! If they dare to persecute and kill Serbs, Serbia will win. […] Don’t think of starting a pogrom against the Serbs as it happened on March 17, 2014 or in other areas of the former Yugoslavia because it will not pass,” Vucic warned. Serbia’s president has appealed to the international community to intervene to maintain peace and calm in Kosovo while calling on Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti to “reasonable” and not take actions that will cause tension. Aleksandar Vucic also called on the Kosovo Serbs to remain calm and not respond to provocations.

It is recalled that a similar crisis over Serbian license plates was caused in northern Kosovo in September 2021 when the Serbs barricaded the crossings on the administrative border with Serbia.

RES-EMP

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