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Serbs start dismantling barricades in northern Kosovo and Metohija — newspaper

It is noted that it would take from 24 to 48 hours to do it

BELGRADE, December 29. /TASS/. The Serbs of northern Kosovo and Metohija on Thursday began dismantling barricades, the newspaper Vecernje Novosti reported.

According to the paper, the barricade at the Merdare checkpoint at the entrance to Kosovo and Metohija has been completely dismantled. The Serbs have now moved on to dismantling barricades in other key districts of the province.

After the meeting with representatives of Kosovo and Metohija in Raska on Thursday night, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that the barricades in the north of the province would be dismantled starting on December 29. It would take from 24 to 48 hours to do it. The meeting lasted a few hours, and the protesters agreed with the president's proposal, raising a number of demands related to the security of the Serbian population and the preservation of the status of Kosmet as an autonomous Serbian province within Serbia. If Pristina persisted, the Serbs threatened to cut off northern Kosmet and Metohija from the southern regions forever.

The situation escalated dramatically on December 6, when special forces of the unrecognized entity, accompanied by patrols of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), started to take over the premises of the election commissions in northern Kosmet. The Serbian population fought back against the Kosovars, who withdrew across the Ibar River. On December 26, the unrecognized Kosovo authorities put their armed forces on full alert. In retaliation, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Milos Vucevic and Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic said that the Serbian armed forces and the Serbian Interior Ministry were also put on alert on orders of the nation’s Commander-in-Chief, President Aleksandar Vucic.