The Kosovo government accuses Serbia of creating tension and insecurity in Kosovo by encouraging local Serbs to set up roadblocks, while Serbia says the Kosovars are creating tension by curtailing the rights of the Serbian minority.
The Pristina government announced that from August 1st, those who want to enter Kosovo with Serbian documents will receive an exit and entry certificate at the crossings. In addition, they once again suggested that cars with Serbian license plates cannot enter the country and must apply for a temporary Kosovo license plate upon entry.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic responded to the Kosovo announcements in an extraordinary press conference on Sunday. As he said, with these measures, the Pristina government led by Albin Kurti only wants to create tensions, they have no reason to make such decisions. In his opinion, Kosovo Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelenskiy wants to play the role of Ukrainian President in a scenario in which the Serbian President embodies Russian President Vladimir Putin. Since Albin Kurti came to power, the number of acts of violence committed against Kosovo Serbs and Serbian institutions has increased significantly, said the Serbian president, who at the same time asked everyone to keep calm and “not to rise to provocation”.
Following the Serbian president’s press conference, Serbs living in the northern part of Kosovo blocked the roads leading to the crossings between Serbia and Kosovo. For a short time, the Kosovo special police unit also withdrew to secure the scene, but no serious incident occurred.
The Kosovo leadership finally decided that if the Serbs removed the barricades, Pristina would postpone the application of the decision on identity cards and license plates by one month. The Kosovo government requested that Serbia also abolish its similar regulations, meaning that documents from Kosovo will also be accepted when entering Serbia.
According to Albin Kurti, the actions of the local Serbian minority are controlled by Belgrade, and the Serbian government and Aleksandar Vucic can be held responsible for the protests. And the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, wrote on social media: “Aleksandar Vucic’s destabilization efforts will fail.”
Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, but Belgrade has refused to recognize it ever since and continues to consider the area, which is mostly inhabited by Albanians, as its southern province.