Kosovo accuses Serbia of sabotage by backing Serbs who quit jobs

by Cristian Florescu

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti accused Belgrade of trying to destabilise Kosovo by supporting Serbs who work as police officers and in the public sector quitting over Pristina’s order to use Kosovo vehicle licence plates, not those issued by Serbia.

The long-running licence plate dispute has stoked tensions between Serbia and its former province of Kosovo, which gained independence in 2008 and is home to a Serb minority in the north that is backed by Belgrade.

Kosovo’s government has said it will start issuing fines this month to Serb drivers using pre-independence plates and will confiscate vehicles that have not had their registration numbers changed by April 21, 2023.

So far 578 police officers have resigned over the dispute, the interior ministry said, with Kosovo having to draft in officers from other regions to replace them.

Their resignations are part of a wider Serb movement to withdraw from state institutions including courts, police, parliament and government over replacing the licence plates.

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