Serbia and Kosovo on edge of dangerous crisis, EU appeals to both sides

Serbia and Kosovo, in the opinion of the European Union, are on the edge of a serious crisis, and both sides are urged to uphold their commitments within the framework of the talks between Belgrade and Pristina.

Josep Borrell, the head of EU diplomacy, made this statement, according to Euractiv.

“We are very worried about the situation in the Western Balkans,” Borrell said after a meeting of EU foreign ministers that discussed the situation in the region, adding “unnecessary and counterproductive tensions” between Kosovo and Serbia “are reaching a very, very dangerous level” and create a situation where “we are unhappily on the edge of another crisis”, Borrel said.

It’s the most dangerous crisis in the last 10 years – Borrel

He described the current unrest as the most dangerous crisis in the last ten years and claimed that the Serbs’ expulsion from Kosovo institutions had left a vacuum. Both sides must demonstrate more flexibility because the worst could occur in this situation, according to Borrell.

Recently, there has been an increase in unrest in the province’s north as a result of Serb community members quitting their positions in government organizations in Kosovo in opposition to the rule that all vehicles owned by inhabitants of Kosovo must have Kosovo license plates. Serbia rejects it because it still does not recognize Kosovo’s independence.

A demonstration of disagreement with the government’s demand that all vehicles owned by inhabitants of Kosovo have Kosovo-issued license plates, members of the Serbian population in Kosovo have resigned from institutions in recent weeks has made the situation in the north more insecure.

Serbia opposes this because they still do not recognize Kosovo’s independence.

The need to find a solution to ease these tensions must be quickly demonstrated by all parties. Neither side may disregard or violate its duties under the Dialogue, according to Borrell.

“Serbs in Kosovo must go back to their institutions. The implementation of the agreement on the Association of Serb Majority Municipalities must proceed immediately, and Kosovo authorities must be flexible about license plates”, he said.

International pressure forced Pristina to repeatedly delay the initial application of the law. They agreed to calm the emotions by implementing it gradually between November and April. The next phase of the process will start, and individuals who have not changed their license plates will be fined.

License plate issue is used by Serbia and Russia to inflame tensions – Gërvalla

Donika Gërvalla, Kosovo’s Foreign and Diaspora Minister, declared that the license plate problem is being used by Serbia and Russia to inflame tensions in Kosovo.

Remember that Serbia is, probably, the last nation in Europe that still supports Russia, in the times of Russia’s war against Ukraine, and European-Russian tensions over Ukraine. When all of this is taken into account, we can see why tensions in Kosovo and the possibility of unrest in the Balkans directly match Moscow’s geopolitical objectives and go against those of the US and the EU.

Massive mobilization of Serbs expected on November 21

On November 21, there will be a massive mobilization of Serbs, according to security experts, with intentions to target abandoned institutions and blockade roadways. In the meantime, the president of Serbia has kept up his threats of rebellion.

The chief diplomat of the EU announced in this regard, saying that the chief negotiators from Pristina and Belgrade will arrive in Brussels within hours to begin negotiating a solution to the crisis.

Photo: www.rferl.org

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