Kosovo police patrol in front of trucks as Kosovo Serbs block a road near the northern Kosovo border crossing at Yaringi. Photo: Bojan Slavkovic / AP / dpa
Kosovo Serbs from the border area blocked access to the Serbian Kosovar border crossings of Yarinje and Brncak on Monday, media in Pristina and Belgrade reported. They protested the new Kosovo government regulation, which states that Serbian license plates are no longer valid in Kosovo.
The Kosovo Border Police has been implementing the regulation since Monday morning. Drivers of vehicles with Serbian license plates must dismantle them at border crossings and attach temporary Kosovar license plates they receive from border officials.
Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, presented his government’s approach on Monday as a measure based on the principle of reciprocity, and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic again called a meeting of his security cabinet on Tuesday.
In fact, Serbia does not recognize the license plates presented by Kosovo after the declaration of independence in 2008. Travelers in vehicles with these license plates must replace them with temporary Serbian license plates at border crossings when entering Serbia.
Kosovo, now almost exclusively inhabited by Albanians, belonged to Serbia until 1999. After an armed uprising by Kosovar Albanians, NATO forced the Serbian state to withdraw with air strikes. From 1999 to 2008, the district was ruled by the United Nations administration. Serbia does not recognize the independence declared by the inhabitants of Kosovo.