Serbia and Kosovo fail to reach deal on licence plates dispute

Serbia - Kosovo tensions over car registration crisis
Serbia - Kosovo tensions over car registration crisis Copyright Visar Kryeziu/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews Serbia
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The EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell, accused Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti of showing "unconstructive behaviour,” in particular, Kosovo, during emergency talks in Brussels over the car registration crisis.


Eleventh-hour talks in Brussels aimed at diffusing tensions between Kosovo and Serbia have ended without a result. 

The EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell spoke of "unconstructive behaviour" about a meeting held in Brussels on Monday in the latest attempt by the EU to calm the situation.

Serbia - Kosovo tensions

Long-simmering tensions between Serbia and its former province mounted again in recent weeks over the Kosovo government’s decision to ban Serbian-issued license plates.

Kosovo, which remains unrecognised by Serbia, wants some 10,000 Kosovo Serbs whose vehicles have Serbian-issued plates to replace them with Kosovo Republic plates.

The phased plan includes warnings, fines, and eventually driving bans for refusing to switch.

Following the meeting, Kosovo Prime Minister Kurti blamed Borrell for focusing solely on the license plates issue instead of the full normalization of ties between the neighbours.

“Sleepless nights are ahead of us”
Aleksandar Vučić
Serbian President

Serbian President Vučić said Kurti was responsible for the failure of the meeting and that “sleepless nights are ahead of us,”.

What do residents think?

Euronews Serbia asked ethnic Serbs living in Mitrovica if the lack of a resolution worried them.

"Well, I don't know," said one woman, "I guess everything will be fine"

"No, no, there is no fear. We have lived here since birth, we are used to this situation," explained a man."Yes, there are tensions, there are, but there is no fear, at least here. Older people may be afraid, but not us young people."

"I am not worried because Kosovo is Serbian and will remain part of Serbia," explained a woman.

NATO mission in Kosovo

There are real concerns that the unresolved issue could spiral into renewed confrontation.

The NATO-led mission in Kosovo, known as KFOR, is "remaining vigilant."

Watch Euronews' report in the player above.

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