No breakthrough in talks to agree on controversial issue of license plates between Kosovo and Serbia

Kosovo and Serbia have failed to agree on the issue of license plates, but there was agreement that the temporary solution should remain in place for the time being.

The issue sparked unrest along the border in September 2021, after the deadline expired on Thursday, 21 April.

EU Special Representative for Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Miroslav Lajcak invited the two sides to continue discussions in the coming days and refrain from provocative actions.

Kosovo, populated mainly with ethnic Albanians and a small Serb minority in northern area, declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Belgrade refuses to accept. More than 110 countries have recognized Kosovo among which the US and the EU members besides five of them – Greece, Spain, Romania, Slovakia, and Cyprus, which continue their refusal to recognize that Balkan country

A dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade, aimed at normalising economic and political relations, is crucial for the progress of Serbia’s EU membership bid.

“I invite chief negotiators to meet again in the coming days to agree on the way forward and continue discussions on other current issues. We expect all actors to refrain from actions which could jeopardise the security on the ground,” Lajcak tweeted.

As no permanent solution was achieved, Serbia stated the temporary solution should remain in place for the time being.

The license place issue stems from a bilateral agreement signed in 2011, whereby cars from each country were supposed to be able to continue using their own license plates while on the other’s territory.

Kosovo’s top negotiator Besnik Bislimi said Serbia had refused all permanent solution options presented, as well as a proposal to extend talks for another 30 days. According to Radio Free Europe, he stressed that Kosovo would implement the same measures as Serbia against cars crossing the border. /