- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
Protest ride aims to highlight Kosovo Serb unhappiness with deal between Kosovo and Serbia on management of crossings.
Dozens of vehicles took part in a protest ride from Kosovska Mitrovica to the Jarinje border crossing on Thursday, protesting against an EU-brokered agreement between Serbia and Kosovo on a border crossings management deal.
The protest ride was organized by the Serbo-Slavic Solidarity Association and the People’s Movement Homeland.
One organizer, Vladimir Rakic, said that the peaceful protest ride sent a message to the international community and to the Belgrade authorities that they do not agree with the agreement, which is based on the concept of “Integrated Border Management” – both sides operating under one roof.
“We do not agree with any form of borders between Kosovo and Serbia and this is a way of showing our disagreement,” he said.
Pilot projects will be implemented at the Jarinje and Merdare border crossings in accordance with the agreement reached by Belgrade and Pristina in Brussels.
On Wednesday, the head of Serbia’s office for dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Dejan Pavicevic, said the agreement did not imply recognition of the existence of a state border between Kosovo and Serbia
Pavicevic also noted that when the agreement on the borders was reached, no one had discussed where the fees collected on the crossings should go, and he expected this to be a topic in the upcoming negotiations.
Serbia wants part of the income from the crossings to go to local Serb-run municipal authorities in the north of Kosovo while the rest will go to Pristina.
EU-mediated talks in Brussels between the two sides started in March 2011, three years after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008.
Serbia has vowed never to recognise Kosovo as a state but says it is open to deals that improve daily lives on both sides of the [from Serbia's point of view unrecognised] border.
As Pristina and Belgrade seek agreement on implementing their EU-brokered deal, Albanian leaders in Serbia’s Presevo Valley are urging the Kosovo authorities to help them win more rights.
The Serbian paramilitary who became a key prosecution witness at his former comrades’ trial for war crimes in Kosovo says he had to speak out about the brutal massacres his unit committed.
Despite two failed meetings about the implementation of the EU-brokered deal between Kosovo and Serbia, officials hope that prime ministerial talks next week will see progress.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has invited the Serbian and Kosovo prime ministers to a meeting next week to discuss how to implement their Brussels-brokered deal.
NATO’s Kosovo force warned that only authorised policing groups are allowed to carry weapons in northern Kosovo, not Serb-organised ‘civil defence’ units.
Former high-ranking Serbian interior ministry official Vlastimir Djordjevic admitted war crimes were committed against Kosovo Albanians during the 1999 conflict and apologised to civilian victims.
Lawmakers were advised to find different ways of remembering wartime fighters and victims after a series of parliamentary sessions commemorating individual ‘martyrs’.
Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister and leaders in the Serb-run north of Kosovo have reached an agreement on the implementation of the EU-brokered deal.
Several thousand people assembled in Belgrade’s main square, accusing Serbia’s top leaders of high treason for the recent EU brokered-deal with Kosovo.
After the two delegations failed to agree an action plan, the Serbian Prime Minister said the EU-led deal will be finalised following direct meetings with his Kosovo counterpart.
Kosovo's authority will be introduced to Serb-run northern Kosovo in three stages, BIRN can reveal, as Kosovo Serb leaders warn the EU-backed plan may prompt them to emigrate.