BELGRADE, July 5. /TASS/. Pristina’s destructive decision to re-register Serbian cars under Kosovo’s rules has thrown talks with Belgrade three steps back, Petar Perkovic, Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija under the Serbian government, said on Tuesday.
"I really don’t know what to say now about the dialogue. We were open for dialogue. Now that we have reached a final accord on an energy agreement and when time has come to move on to agree on the missing persons and on other matters, we are rolling three steps back because of Pristina. Obviously, they are doing it deliberately because they don’t want to take part in dialogue," he said.
Earlier, Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed republic of Kosovo Albin Kurti said that ethnic Serbs living in the Serbian autonomy needed to re-register their cars under Kosovo’s norms before September 30. According to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Pristina plans to ban entry to Kosovo for holders of Serbian domestic documents and for cars with Serbian car plates from September 30.
Pristina’s previous attempt to ban entry for cars with Serbian plates entailed a serious escalation of the conflict. On September 20, 2021, hundreds of Kosovan policemen, including snipers, were deployed to the Jarinje and Brnjak checkpoints. They began to tear off Serbian plates and replace them with Kosovo ones, charging a fee of five euro. In response, the Serbs blocked the checkpoints and staged mass protests. After a ten-day standoff, Belgrade and Pristina reached an agreement on de-escalation in North Kosovo. They agreed to set up a working group to negotiate a lasting solution to the problem of car plates in North Kosovo populated mostly by ethnic Serbs.