September 22, 2021

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Ethnic Serbs blocked the Kosovo-Serbia border for a third straight day Wednesday to protest a decision by Kosovo authorities to start removing Serbian license plates from cars entering the country.

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti called on Serbs to move vehicles away “because they are blocking themselves.” Small groups of Serbs spent the night in tents and they have blocked the roads to the Jarinje and Brnjak border crossings with trucks.

The recent incident has raised fears that it may unleash much deeper tensions between the two Balkan neighbors.

Serbia, which doesn’t recognize its former province of Kosovo as a separate nation, has for years been taking off registration plates from Kosovo-registered cars entering Serbia. Drivers need to pay five euros (nearly $6) for a 60-day temporary license plate.

Serbia considers its border with Kosovo as an “administrative” and temporary boundary.