Kosovo and Serbia have reached an agreement on the use of number plates in northern Kosovo before the ultimatum expires. The dispute over motorists driving with Serbian license plates has been going on for about two years and has recently escalated.
Kosovo plans to fine motorists who still drive with Serbian plates after midnight. Plans to ban number plates have recently led to tensions in the north of the country, where many Serbs live. For example, hundreds of Serbs in Kosovo, including police officers, have recently laid off their jobs. Border crossings have also been blocked.
Kosovo declared its independence in 2008 and introduced its own number plates. But neighboring Serbia does not recognize the independence of the former Serbian province, so Serbs still walk around carrying Serbian registration plates. It’s about 10,000 motorists.
prevent further escalation
The mediation of the European Union had to be used to bring the two parties closer. “Negotiators agree on measures to prevent further escalation and focus fully on the proposal to normalize relations between them,” EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell wrote on Twitter.
The agreement means that Serbia will no longer issue Serbian license plates to Serbs living in northern Kosovo. Kosovo undertakes not to fine motorists with Serbian number plates or to confiscate their vehicles.
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