In the autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija, not controlled by Belgrade, a new crisis erupted: the authorities of the self-proclaimed “Republic of Kosovo” unilaterally banned the entry of vehicles with Serbian state numbers.
On vehicles heading from the central part of the country to the separatist region, the Kosovo-Albanian security forces, when passing checkpoints, “twisted” Serbian plates and forced drivers to purchase temporary registration plates of the “Republic of Kosovo” model worth 5 euros, valid for two months.
To monitor compliance with the new rules, the Pristina authorities introduced about 350 ROSU police special forces soldiers with machine guns and armored vehicles at the Northern Kosovo checkpoint on the administrative border with central Serbia.
Kosovar special forces and armored vehicles
Serbs, compactly living in the enclaves of northern Kosovo, in protest against the actions of the separatist administration, blocked the roads near several checkpoints with trucks and erected barricades. The security forces used tear gas against them.
Kosovo Serbs at the checkpoint
Pristina calls the measure taken as a mirror response to the actions of Belgrade, which does not allow vehicles with numbers of the “Republic of Kosovo” to enter Serbia. Prime Minister of a quasi-republic Albin Curti stated that the practice of introducing temporary license plates was imposed by the opposite side and will remain in effect until Belgrade cancels a similar measure for Kosovars when entering Serbia.
A. Kurti demonstrates new standards for numbering tables
Meanwhile, the unilateral actions of the leadership of the separatist entity are a gross violation of the Brussels agreements and the temporary agreements of Belgrade and Pristina of 2016 on vehicle registration plates, which stipulate free access for cars with Serbian registration numbers in Kosovo. In addition, for the citizens of the “Republic of Kosovo” they have a mechanism for acquiring temporary numbers for a period of 60 days to enter the territory of Serbia.
In connection with the current situation in Kosovo and Metohija, the President of Serbia Alexander Vucic convene an emergency meeting of the National Security Council for September 21; in the south of Serbia, armored vehicles are being pulled together to the contact line with the uncontrolled autonomy.
The Serbian leader noted that the introduction of the Kosovar special forces to the north of the region is “the sixth invasion, but the most brutal so far.” According to him, the state will not allow a repeat of the 2004 pogroms. Vucic said he saw no point in continuing the dialogue with Pristina under the auspices of the European Union.
Own. corr. FSK
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