'We Have a Deal': Serbia and Kosovo Reach Agreement on ID Cards, EU's Borrell Says
16:09 GMT 27.08.2022 (Updated: 16:27 GMT 27.08.2022)
© Sputnik / Oleg IvanovSerbian military and armored vehicles near the road between the village of Raska and the Yarine checkpoint on the administrative line between central Serbia and northern Kosovo
© Sputnik / Oleg Ivanov
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said earlier in the day that Belgrade was ready to partially accept Pristina's requirements for entry documents into Kosovo under certain conditions and EU guarantees.
Serbia and Kosovo have reached an EU-facilitated agreement on ID cards, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell announced in a Saturday tweet.
We have a deal.— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) August 27, 2022
Under the EU-facilitated Dialogue, Serbia agreed to abolish entry/exit documents for Kosovo ID holders and Kosovo agreed to not introduce them for Serbian ID holders.
In a follow-up tweet, the EU's top diplomat wrote: "Kosovo Serbs, as well as all other citizens, will be able to travel freely between Kosovo & Serbia using their ID cards. The EU just received guarantees from PM Kurti to this end. This is a European solution. We congratulate both leaders on this decision & their leadership."
The announcement comes hours after Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic confirmed that Belgrade was ready to partially accept the requirements of the Kosovo-Albanian authorities in Pristina for entry documents into Kosovo under certain conditions and EU guarantees.
"We are ready to accept their documents and issue a general explanation and place it at the points of administrative transition in accordance with the previously signed one, but there is one condition because of which the agreement was not reached earlier, we are waiting for the EU guarantee," Vucic said.
27 August 2022, 10:02 GMT
In late July, the region witnessed a flare-up between Serbia and Kosovo, which Belgrade sees as its breakaway region. The tensions escalated after Pristina announced plans to introduce new border rules from August 1 that would have restricted entry from Serbia to those with Serbian-issued IDs and license plates, which must be exchanged for Kosovo-issued documents at the border. Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic described Pristina's plans as an attempt to create "hell" for local Serbs, while Vucic said that the nation "has never been in a situation more complicated and difficult." At the time, the Serbian president urged the Albanians in Kosovo to "come to their senses" and Serbs in Kosovo to avoid yielding to provocations or doing anything that could lead to a conflict.
The tensions at the border pushed Serbs to set up roadblocks. Eventually, Kosovo authorities decided to postpone implementing the new regulations until September 1, on condition that the roadblocks are removed.