Kosovo, warning measures for users of car plates issued by Serbia

Kosovo, warning measures for users of car plates issued by Serbia
 Kosovo police controlling car plates Mitrovica
 Kosovo authorities on Tuesday began issuing warnings at border crossings after the government reversed a decision banning the use of Serbian-issued car plates, announcing a phased implementation.

In the warning letters, the Serbian citizens of Kosovo are called to replace the license plates issued by Serbia with those of Kosovo, VOA said.

A Serbian citizen who received such a letter at midnight said she has not yet decided what to do with the car's license plates.

"For now it is what it is, we'll see," she said.

The warning measure is expected to last until November 21, when fines of around 150 euros will follow for all those who continue to use license plates that Kosovo considers illegal.

According to the government's decision from January 21, 2023, cars must be equipped with license plates, while after April 21, 2023, their movement within the territory of Kosovo will not be allowed.

The change in deadline was also seen as a concession to Western demands for a ten-month delay.

The spokesman of the US Department of State, Ned Price, said last night that the United States and the international community did not ask Kosovo for a partial postponement.

"We have been clear, publicly and privately, that the international community, including the United States, requires a complete postponement of the implementation of these issues. We are not asking for a partial postponement, we are not asking for phased implementation. The international community has asked the government of Kosovo for a complete postponement", he said.

Price reiterated in a press conference that the United States is "disappointed" and "concerned" that the government of Kosovo rejected the request and advice of its closest partners regarding the implementation of the decision.

Even the European Union has expressed its disappointment that the Kosovo government did not listen to the advice on extending the deadline.

In the reaction of the bloc, it is stated that Kosovo has the right to gradually remove the old license plates "but the process must be developed in the manner agreed upon in the dialogue and implemented in a comprehensive and consultative manner".

The decision of the Kosovo government was an action to avoid tensions in the north, where Serbian representatives do not agree with the change of license plates and have warned of resistance at the moment when the first fine is imposed.

The Minister of Defense of Serbia, Milosh Vučević, said on Tuesday during an interview for "Happy" television that Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has ordered the army to be in a state of readiness due to the situation in Kosovo.

This summer's tensions between Kosovo and Serbia over the use of identification documents and car license plates prompted a heightened diplomatic response to avoid clashes at a time of sensitive political developments in Europe over Russian aggression in Ukraine.

While the opposition parties in Kosovo criticized the country's government for what they said was damage to the country's strategic interests by ignoring the demands of allies at a time when efforts have been increased to advance the process of normalizing relations between the two countries, according to a proposed plan. from France and Germany and that is being supported by the United States.
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