After EU intervention, Serbia and Kosovo have concluded an agreement which is intended to put an end to an argument over registration plates for the time being. The discord escalated last week. Kosovo stationed special police units along the border to control Serbian vehicles and Serbia flew fighter planes and helicopters close to the border.
The agreement includes taking over the role of Kosovo police units by NATO peacekeepers. In return, ethnic-Serbian Kosovars must remove their erected blockages at border crossings.
Serbia does not recognise Kosovos independence, declared in 2008. Many ethnic Serbs live in northern Kosovo, who are often still driving around in cars with Serbian license plates. However, after independence, Kosovo received its own number plates.
Tension between the countries arose after Kosovo decided last week to ban Serbian number plates. This would cause problems for the Serbian minority in Kosovo, but also for travellers from Serbia. They should replace their license plate when entering Kosovo for temporary Kosovo specimens.
Kosovo said to take the measure because Serbia has been doing the same thing for ten years. The special police units at the border had to enforce the measure.
Instead of replacing the number plates, it has now been decided to stick stickers over certain parts. That measure will remain in force until a final solution is found for both parties to agree with.