Serbia’s road to joining the European Union might be blocked after Belgrade rejected a plan for northern Kosovo that was brokered by the EU.
Kosovo has been effectively partitioned since breaking away in 2008, with ethnic Albanians forming the lion’s share of the population, and ethnic Serbs in the majority in the north.
Serbia’s prime minister Ivica Dacic said: “The Serbian government cannot accept the proposed principles that were relayed to our negotiators in talks because they do not guarantee full security and protection of human rights for Serbs in Kosovo.”
In Mitrovica the river forms an ethnic frontier between Kosovo’s Serbs and Albanians.
Brussels has been urging Serbia to normalise relations with Kosovo for EU membership talks to start.
Belgrade said this latest proposal lacks a broad autonomy for Serbs, but officials say they want to continue negotiating on the issue of Kosovo.