World News

‘Hell on earth’ could break out in Kosovo, Serbian president says — RT World News

As Pristina plans to phase out Belgrade-issued license plates, Aleksandar Vucic warns open hostilities could break out

The situation in the separatist Serbian region of Kosovo could turn into a “hell on earth” if local authorities do not reverse their plan to ban Serbian license plates, said President Aleksandar Vucic. The Serbian leader made the remarks on Sunday, a day before drivers still using old Belgrade-issued plates began to face fines.

On Monday, Vucic is set to take part in EU-sponsored talks in Brussels with Kosovar leader Albin Kurti in a last-ditch attempt to avoid the looming flashpoint.

“We will do everything to prevent war but it does not depend on us”, Vucic told TV Prva.

“In such a case, Serbia will be with its people and the Serbs will defend their homes,” he added, blaming the Kosovar authorities for the situation. “Whether [Kurti] wanted to postpone the decision, he would have postponed it earlier… But Kurti showed that he did not want Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.

Kosovo’s controversial plan to phase out Serb-issued license plates has been the source of constant tension between Belgrade and Pristina for months now. Under the plan, which affects some 10,000 drivers in the region, the plates are to be replaced with Kosovo-issued plates by April 21 next year.

Drivers who fail to comply should first receive a warning, before then incurring a €150 fine in the second phase, and ultimately ending up with their plates and vehicle entirely confiscated.

An attempt to enforce the measure in July nearly resulted in fighting between Serbia and Kosovo, with a crisis narrowly averted after European and American diplomats brokered a temporary solution. In early November, dozens of ethnic Serb government employees in Kosovo resigned from their posts after a local police chief was sacked by Pristina for his refusal to implement license plate measures.

Serbia and its breakaway province, which is not recognized as an independent state by the UN, are considering joining the EU. However, their goals are mutually exclusive, given that Pristina plans to join as an independent state, while Belgrade sees Kosovo as an integral part of Serbia.

You can share this story on social media:


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button