Kosovo begins issuing further paperwork to Serbian residents as protesters block roads

Fourteen years after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, some 50,000 Serbs within the north nonetheless use license plates and paperwork issued by Serbian authorities, refusing to acknowledge the Pristina authorities and its establishments.

Following tensions on Sunday and consultations with US and EU ambassadors, the federal government mentioned it will postpone till September 1 a choice giving native Serbs 60 days to modify to Kosovo license plates and requiring further paperwork to be issued on the border to Serbian residents, together with these dwelling in Kosovo with out native paperwork.

However as gravel-filled vehicles and heavy equipment continued to dam roads resulting in the Brnjak and Jarinje border crossings in northern Kosovo on Monday morning, the federal government started issuing the paperwork on the largest border crossing Merdare.

“This resolution will proceed to be applied till all of the barricades are eliminated and the liberty of motion for individuals and items is ensured,” Kosovo’s Inside Minister Xhelal Svecla mentioned.

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NATO-led mission KFOR helicopters flew over the north of Kosovo, which is majority-populated by Serbs and linked immediately with Serbia. The Brnjak and Jarinje border crossings remained closed.

Kosovo has been acknowledged as an unbiased state by greater than 100 international locations however not by Serbia or Russia.

A 12 months in the past, after native Serbs blocked the identical roads in one other row over license plates, Kosovo’s authorities deployed particular police forces and Belgrade flew fighter jets near the border.

Tensions between the 2 international locations stay excessive and Kosovo’s fragile peace is maintained by a NATO mission with 3,770 troops on the bottom. Italian peacekeepers have been seen in and round then northern city of Mitrovica on Sunday.

The 2 international locations dedicated in 2013 to a dialogue sponsored by the European Union to attempt to resolve excellent points however little progress has been made.