Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

Eleven-hour talks in Brussels with the aim of calming tensions between Kosovo and Serbia ended without results.

The EU’s first diplomat, Josep Borrell, said that Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti have shown “non-constructive behavior”, especially towards Kosovo.

Tensions between Serbia and Kosovo

Long-simmering tensions between Serbia and its former province have risen again in recent weeks over the Kosovo government’s decision to ban Serbian-issued license plates.

Kosovo, which Serbia has not yet recognized, wants the approximately 10,000 Kosovo Serbs whose vehicles have Serbian plates to be replaced with plates from the Republic of Kosovo.

The gradual plan includes warnings, fines and a possible driving ban for refusing to change.

After the meeting, Kosovo Prime Minister Kurti blamed Borrell for focusing solely on the license plate issue instead of fully normalizing ties between the neighbors.

Serbian President Vučić said that Kurti was responsible for the failure of the meeting and that “sleepless nights are ahead of us”.

What do the residents think?

Euronews Serbia asked the ethnic Serbs living in Mitrovica if they were worried about the lack of a resolution.

“Well, I don’t know,” said one woman, “I guess everything will be fine.”

“No, no, there’s no fear. We’ve lived here since birth, we’re used to this kind of situation,” explains one man. “Yes, there are tensions, there are some, but there is no fear, at least here. Older people may be afraid, but not us young people.”

“I’m not worried because Kosovo is Serbian and will remain part of Serbia,” explained one woman.

NATO mission in Kosovo

There are real concerns that an unresolved issue could lead to renewed conflict.

The NATO-led mission in Kosovo, known as KFOR, “remains on alert.”

Watch the Euronews report in the player above.