"Cars with status-neutral plates allowed in central Serbia"

Cars from Kosovo can move through central Serbia only if they have "status-neutral plates (KS)," Milovan Drecun has said.

Source: Tanjug

The MP from the ruling SNS party and chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Kosovo and Metohija said on Friday that Pristina has "interpreted an agreement on insurance in a way that is unacceptable to Serbia."

Drecun told reporters in the Serbian Assembly that the issue of license plates was dealt with in previous technical agreements when it was decided that cars from Kosovo can travel through central Serbia "with status-neutral plates that are labeled KS - Kosovo."

He added that Pristina now wants to tie the agreement on insurance "with cars that use plates that are not status neutral" i.e., those with the symbol RKS - "Republic of Kosovo" - so they are allowed to travel through central Serbia, "which was not the subject of agreements and talks."

''Such cars cannot move through central Serbia and it is a political maneuver by which Pristina is now trying to gain some kind of points and resolve the issue of insurance in a manner that is unacceptable to Serbia,'' said Drecun. He added that Serbia will, for the benefit of citizens crossing the administrative line, regardless of their nationality, "solve that problem in the coming days."

This, he said, will be an issue for the teams tasked with solving technical details.

Drecun added Pristina is, with the insurance agreement, once again seeking to introduce by the back door the issue of status in the process of normalization of relations, "that is, to step outside the status-neutral framework of the Brussels agreement."

Also on Friday, the Kosovo minister in charge of dialogue with Belgrade, Edita Tahiri, "denied that the agreement on vehicle insurance has been suspended," arguing that the media had "reported that erroneously."

She told the RTK2 broadcaster said that "the Serbian side informed the EU" they had not yet completed technical preparations to implement agreements on recognition of license plates "between the two countries," recalling at the same time that "implementation is scheduled to begin today," while "the public will be informed in a timely manner about the beginning of implementation."

Tahiri remarked this was "not the first time that Serbia postpones implementation of agreements, for which reason Pristina asked the EU to exert pressure on Serbia."

She is convinced, however, that "this (implementation) will happen in the next few days." In the meantime, unofficial announcements coming from Pristina saying that starting at midnight on Thursday vehicles with "Serb" plates would be confiscated proved to be an empty threat, at least judging by reports from field, Tanjug said.

It is unclear whether Pristina in fact has suspended the agreement, as previously announced, the agency added, noting it was certain that vehicles with "disputed" plates, including those marked "KM" for Kosovska Mitrovica, last night passed through the administrative crossing of Jarinje unhindered in both directions.


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