N. Kosovo Serbs announce protests against crossings deal

BELGRADE -- Northern Kosovo Serbs have announced protests over pilot projects at three administrative crossings that should start in early December, a daily writes.

The Jarinje administrative crossing (Beta, file)
The Jarinje administrative crossing (Beta, file)

Daily Večernje novosti says that the pilot projects would be launched at the Jarinje, Končulj and Merdare crossings.

Political leaders from the north say that the implementation of agreements reached by former heads of Belgrade and Priština teams Borko Stefanović and Edita Tahiri and accepted by Serbian and Kosovo Prime Ministers Ivica Dačić and Hashim Thaci represent an establishement of the inter-state border between Kosovo and central Serbia.

Belgrade team chief Dejan Pavićević told the daily that he was in constant contact with representatives of Kosovo Serbs and that he was hoping that an agreement would be reached that would enable the implementation of the agreements.

“I completely understand our fellow citizens in the province because they are worried about their lives. But I do not understand politicians from Belgrade who claim that this is a recognition of Kosovo. Serbia would never agree to a border with its southern province. According to this twisted logic, we have had the border since 1999. Now we will at these crossings have one checkpoint instead of two where EULEX will be present aside from Serbs and Albanians,” he explained.

Zvečan Deputy Mayor Dobrosav Dobrić claims that northern Kosovo Serbs would not allow the border to be set up and that the pilot projects would fail. He also did not rule out a possibility of erecting barricades.

“All four municipalities are completely united. We will stand up to the setting up of border that not even the Nazis could set up in 1941. We request talks with the president and prime minister. It is better to tell us they do not want us in Serbia anymore than to say that they are again independence and all this is for our own good,” he stressed.

Former Ministry for Kosovo State Secretary Oliver Ivanović believes that the Belgrade authorities should have consulted Kosovo Serbs before they promised to implement the agreement on the integrated crossings management.

“It is dangerous to ignore the Serbs’ position but it would be devastating if the political leaders from the north now had confrontations with the Serbian government. Since there is no common position I am sure that Serbs will obstruct the implementation of the agreement and they are very inventive. On the other hand, this could jeopardize the government’s credibility,” Ivanović warned.

Kosovska Mitrovica District Head Radenko Nedeljković claims that the agreement envisages management of the border, not administrative crossings.

“Kosovo Serbs will not help create the independent state of Kosovo and then Great Albania. The people can neither accept nor allow the implementation of unconstitutional agreements and I am sure that they will stand up to it peacefully,” he said.

Kosovska Mitrovica Mayor said on Wednesday that Kosovo Serbs did not want to live in independent Kosovo and that they would not allow anyone to turn them into ‘Kosovars’.