Tensions in the area rose due to the government’s request for re-registration of cars with old Serbian license plates
Police officers from the EU mission (EULEX) were deployed in the Serb-populated northern Kosovo, the head of the mission – Swede Lars-Gunnar Vigemark told the Kosovo-Serbian information portal. the cars with old Serbian license plates.
One hundred and thirty-five European police officers are patrolling on foot, filling the security gap left by Kosovo Serb police officers who resigned in protest at the license plate crackdown.
“We cannot take over the work of the Kosovo police and replace it,” Vigemark warned.
Kosovo’s government ordinance prohibits Serbs in the north of the country from continuing to use license plates and vehicle documents issued by neighboring Serbia. According to the regulation, they should be replaced with Kosovo registration plates and documents.
Serbia has never recognized Kosovo’s independence, declared in 2008, claims its territory and openly supports those Kosovo Serbs who oppose the authority of the Kosovo government. This also includes criminal gangs that, for example, set fire to the cars of those few Kosovo Serbs who have re-registered their cars, DPA notes.
The regulation came into effect at the beginning of the month after several delays due to Serbian protests. Currently, drivers with Serbian license plates only receive warnings. From next week, however, fines will be able to be imposed.
Earlier this month, representatives of Kosovo’s ethnic Serb minority resigned from their posts to protest the firing of a top Serbian police officer who disobeyed a government decision to change car license plates, the Associated Press reported.