Kosovo and Serbia reached an agreement on the issuance of Serbian license plates to prevent further escalation of the conflict. “I am pleased to announce that the chief negotiators of Kosovo and Serbia with the mediation of the European Union have agreed on measures to prevent further escalation and to fully focus on the proposal to normalize their relations,” Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, wrote on his Twitter microblog on Wednesday evening 23 November.
In accordance with the agreement, Belgrade will stop issuing license plates with Kosovo city codes, and Pristina, in turn, will stop re-registering cars with Serbian numbers. According to Borrell, the parties will discuss further steps to normalize relations in the coming days, through the mediation of Germany and France.
Conflict between Serbia and Kosovo
conflict between Serbia and Kosovo escalated again in late July, when Pristina decided to introduce temporary documents that Serbian citizens should receive upon entry, and also demanded that the Serbian minority change their old Serbian car numbers to local numbers. In protest, Kosovo Serbs erected barricades, after which the authorities in Pristina postponed the introduction of new rules.
In 2008, the Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia. It was recognized by many European states, including Germany, as well as the United States. Belgrade considers Kosovo its autonomous province and does not recognize Pristina’s independence. Serbia’s position is shared by Russia, most states of the post-Soviet space, as well as five EU countries, China and India.
Serbia seeks accession to the EU and in this context is committed to normalizing relations with Kosovo. Since 2013, Belgrade and Pristina have been trying to resolve relations through EU mediation. Russia blocks Kosovo’s accession to the UN.