Kosovo: Doing homework before EU membership, Serbia announced frontier agreement.
Europe Security News.- Serbian protesters have built road blocks in protest at Kosovo's declaration of independence. Photo Credit Sasa Djordjevic AFP Getty Images
The president of Serbia, Boris Tadic, has confirmed an agreement reached with Kosovo to jointly manage disputed border crossings along their common frontier.
The European Union’s foreign affairs office has been sponsoring talks between Serbia and Kosovo and recently announced that there was agreement.
Serbian president Tadic referred to the line as a “boundary,” because Serbia still views Kosovo as part of its territory and refuses to recognize a “border.”
The Kosovo delegation also said the agreement was a done deal. READ MORE HERE
Since last October , NATO PEACEKEEPERS and EU authorities pressed Serbs to remove roadblocks on the border between Kosovo and Serbia, as a tense stand-off threatened to trigger renewed violence in the region and damage Belgrade’s bid for European Union membership.
October was a tense month in regard to Kosovo-Serbia relations.
Fighting erupted twice in 2011 at the frontier, where local Serbs refuse to recognise Kosovo’s independence from Belgrade and reject the presence of kosovo albanians customs officers.
In Kosovo 90 per cent of the population is ethnic-Albanian.
in November, several Serbs and Nato soldiers were injured in a gun battle at the border, and in July Serbs shot dead a Kosovo policeman and razed a customs post when the government in Pristina sent special units to take control of the frontier.
In November, the unrest prompted Belgrade to postpone Brussels-brokered talks with Pristina, and casted a shadow over the European Commission’s relations with Serbia.
Early December, Kosovo Serbians cut roads, blocked passages and erected checkpoints at a score of locations across the north of Kosovo bordering Serbia. Two weeks ago, dozens of German and Austrian peacekeepers and Serbian protesters were injured in clashes as the confrontation escalated into a crisis whose impact is reverberating well beyond this poor, dusty corner of south-eastern Europe.
With this agreement announced by the Serbian Government both parts will control the frontier between Serbia and Kosovo. However, Serbia regards Kosovo as its own, refusing to recognise the Albanian-majority country that declared independence three years ago. For the Kosovars, meanwhile, having police and customs officers on the border crossings with Serbia is a fundamental attribute of statehood.