Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that Kosovo Serbs will not be returning to Kosovo’s institutions before the Community of Serb Municipalities is established, which was their second condition, in addition to the one regarding the license plate fines. He said people will be able to extend their Serbia-issued license plates as usual. Commenting the European Union’s (EU) proposal for a final agreement, Vucic said Serbia has its own “red lines.”
“We say we don’t want Kosovo in the UN and then what – you bomb us, threaten us with sanctions, what?” Vucic told a media conference in Belgrade, adding that “it is not a problem” to immediately suspend negotiation, but “how do you think you will resolve those problems then.”
Asked what will happen with the snap elections for mayors of four Serb-majority municipalities in north Kosovo, scheduled for December 18, which the Kosovo Serbs have said they would boycott, Vucic said that the Kosovo Serbs have stipulated their condition – the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities.
He noted that this was one of their conditions for their return to the institutions, in addition to their request not to be fined for using Serbia-issued license plated.
“Even if I wanted to – and I don’t – I couldn’t convince Serbs in Kosovo to do something like that,” said the Serbian President.
He said that “not an easy period of time lies ahead,” but that he believes “we will manage to preserve peace and stability.”
Vucic said the KM (Serbia-issued) license plates in Kosovo “are staying and surviving,” and that they can be extended as usual because “there is no obligation attached to this.”
“Two days ago they (Pristina) had a better deal than the one they got yesterday,” said Vucic, adding that there are 7,000 KM (Serbia-issued) license plates in Kosovo and about 2,000 in “central Serbia.”
It is of key importance that the statement issued after the Wednesday meeting reads that all previously reached agreements need to be implemented, said Vucic.
He said the situation among the Serbs in Kosovo is “heated” and that “people are fed up with the Pristina authorities’ terror,” adding that the Serbs are fed up with blackmail, harassment, bullying and do not want to be a national minority.
EU Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell said Wednesday evening that the chief negotiators of Serbia and Kosovo agreed on the measures to avoid further escalation. “Serbia will stop issuing license plates with Kosovo Cities’ denominations and Kosovo will cease further actions related to re-registration of vehicles,” Borrell explained.
Belgrade’s chief negotiator Petar Petkovic said that the agreement reached with Pristina’s negotiator Besnik Bislimi means that there will be no punitive policy towards Kosovo Serb drivers whose Serbia-issued license plates will remain valid.