Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Serbian Military On High Alert After Kosovo Refuses To Rescind Controversial Policy

situation on the border with Kosovo

The Serbian armed forces have been put on high alert by the country's president to enable quick response to any development of the situation on the border with Kosovo, which continues to demand Kosovar licensing of Belgrade-issued car plates, Serbian Defense Minister Milos Vucevic said on Tuesday.

"The commander-in-chief issued an order for the Serbian army to raise its readiness to the level enabling it to perform any task. Certainly, nobody wants to wage a war and start a conflict, and no one thinks of playing such games, but Serbia is a serious state and is taking all steps to respond to every challenge and potential problem," Vucevic told the Nacionalna Televizija Happy channel.

The Kosovar authorities require that local Serbs re-register their car plates, demanding that they feature the EU-standard letter code of RKS (Republic of Kosovo) instead of KM, the Serbian identifier for the disputed region of Kosovska Mitrovica on the border. The deadline for the re-registration was October 31.

On August 27, Belgrade and Pristina reached an EU-brokered compromise deal on entry and exit regulations. Serbia agreed to abolish entry-exit documents for Kosovo ID holders, while Kosovo agreed not to introduce them for Serbian citizens. Belgrade maintains the move is only aimed at streamlining border crossing and does not mean that Serbia recognizes Kosovo's independence.

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