The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, announced the failure to reach an agreement to ease tensions between Kosovo and Serbia.
This came in a press statement on Monday, following the emergency meeting with Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, in Brussels, to reduce tension between the two countries over the issue of identity cards and vehicle registration plates.
Borrell said: “The failure of today’s meeting and the escalation of tensions and possible violence is the responsibility of both sides. We put forward a proposal that President Vucic accepted, and Prime Minister Kurti did not accept it.”
He made it clear that he would inform the European Union countries about the non-constructive positions of the parties, and in particular Kosovo’s non-compliance with international laws.
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“The roots of the problem go far beyond license plates. I have made it clear to both sides that we cannot go on like this, this vicious circle of crises must end,” he added.
Tensions escalated at the end of July between the two neighboring countries, following the entry into force of a law announced by the Kosovo government, before retracting and postponing its entry into force for a month in order to calm the situation.
The law requires everyone, including Serbs living in Kosovo, to obtain an identity card issued by the country and to exchange license plates for cars from neighboring Serbia with Kosovo ones.
Kosovo, whose majority population is Albanian, seceded from Serbia in 1999 and declared its independence from it in 2008, but Belgrade still considers it part of its territory and supports a Serb minority in Kosovo.