Government offices in Kosovo came under attack on Saturday as tensions with Serbia over a dispute over vehicle license plates escalates.
Serbia does not recognize the nation status of its former province and requires Kosovo drivers to purchase temporary plates when entering the country.
Now Kosovo has decided to do the same.
In response, the Kosovo Serbs blocked the provisional border with trucks, and two government offices in the capital Pristina were attacked.
“The incineration of the Zubin Potok vehicle registration center last night after midnight was not an accidental fire, but a deliberate fire,” said Albin Kurti, Prime Minister of Kosovo, “and in the registration center from Zvecan’s vehicles, two hand grenades were thrown. from the window, which luckily did not explode. Investigations will shed light on both cases. “
The Kosovo Serbs say they will maintain their blockade in the process until Pristina withdraws its decision to replace Serbian license plates with those from Kosovo.
Serbia has placed army units near Kosovo on high alert, and state media have reported military planes flying near the border.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called Kosovo’s recent license plate transfer “criminal action” and made the withdrawal of all Kosovo special police a condition of EU negotiations to resolve the dispute.
The European Union and the United States urged Kosovo and Serbia to exercise restraint and refrain from unilateral action.
A bloody 1998-1999 crackdown by Serbian troops against Kosovo Albanian separatists ended after NATO intervention, and Kosovo declared independence in 2008. It was recognized by the United States and d ‘other Western countries, but not by Serbia and its allies Russia and China