The delay helps calm tensions in northern Kosovo, a day after EU-mediated talks between Belgrade and Pristina failed.
Kosovo’s prime minister, accused by Brussels of scuppering talks to resolve a row over a scheme to interchange Serbian automotive quantity plates, has delayed the plan for 2 days.
The dispute erupted after Kosovo stated the nation’s ethnic Serbs could be penalised if they didn’t swap automobile licence plates issued by Serbia for registration numbers issued by Pristina.
The underlying supply of rigidity is Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia. The latter doesn’t recognise the transfer and has inspired Kosovo’s Serb minority to stay loyal to Belgrade.
Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti stated on Twitter on Tuesday morning that he had accepted a request from Washington “for a 48-hour postponement of the introduction of fines” for automobiles with Serbian plates.
Talks in Brussels
The delay helped calm tensions in northern Kosovo, a day after European Union-mediated negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina over the doubtless explosive scheme failed to supply outcomes.
“I’m completely happy to work with the US and the EU to discover a answer throughout the subsequent two days,” Kurti tweeted.
The dispute has sounded alarm bells within the EU, which has been looking for to normalise ties between Serbia and Kosovo and desires each to chorus from provocative gestures.
America ambassador to Kosovo, Jeffrey Hovenier, additionally voiced concern over the failure to resolve the quantity plate row, which has the potential to set off a regional disaster.
Within the newest growth this month, Serbs in northern Kosovo resigned from public establishments in protest over the scheme.
Of Kosovo’s 120,000-strong minority, about 10,000 have Serbia-issued automotive registrations.
Washington had requested the two-day delay “to permit the EU and the US to additional interact the events to discover a answer”, Hovenier tweeted.
‘Verge of battle’
Police had been attributable to begin issuing 150-euro ($155) fines to automobiles with Serbian plates from 8am (07:00 GMT) on Tuesday. A complete ban is to return into power in April 2023.
The EU’s prime diplomat, Josep Borrell, on Monday hosted negotiations in Brussels between Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
Afterwards, Borrell stated Vucic had been prepared to simply accept an EU compromise proposal “that would have averted this dangerous scenario” however Kurti had not.
Returning to Belgrade, Vucic stated the scenario was on the “verge of battle”.
“There is a gigantic anger among the many Serbs in northern Kosovo,” he stated in a public handle. He added he would ask the latter to “attempt to protect peace”.
Borrell urged Pristina to not implement its licence plate regulation and Belgrade to not problem new plates bearing Kosovar metropolis initials. He stated a cooling-off interval would enable time and area for diplomacy to renew.