Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Brief timeline of the Kosovo-Serbia tensions in September

September 2

Serbia and Kosovo struck an agreement on “status-neutral documents” whereupon Serbia will recognize stamps on documents that say “Kosovo Customs” without any state insignia such as the Kosovo flag or coat-of-arms.

September 8

Serbia confirms that two members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) have initiated the procedure to revoke their recognition of Kosovo. Pristina called the statement propaganda.

Serbs in northern Kosovo unblock roads and EULEX police returned to southern Kosovo.

September 9

Serbian Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanović says deployment of Kosovo customs officers at checkpoints without Belgrade’s approval represents a serious threat. He added that EULEX's actions in support of Priština's policy represented a blatant violation of the status neutrality.

September 13

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Mission in Kosovo called Tuesday on Kosovo institutions to take further action in support of repatriated persons.

The Serbian government prepares a letter addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon regarding the latest statements by Pristina representatives that they will take over control of border crossings in northern Kosovo as of September 15th. The letter will warn that violence could threaten the stability of the region. Boris Tadić says he will ask international officials to prevent Priština's threats and unilateral attempts to deploy Kosovo customs at the administrative line.

Traffic between Zvecan and Kosovska Mitrovica is suspended. The roadblocks were reestablished after an attempt of KFOR vehicles to reach the Jarinje administrative crossing. KFOR was intercepted at about 10.15 p.m. in Zvecan, and the vehicles drove back to their base, after nearly two-hour talks with the gathered Serbs.

September 14

The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) is ready to revoke its decision on collection of customs duties on the goods from BiH, if the country accepts the customs stamp delivered to all signatories of the CEFTA agreement, the BiH Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations released.

Serbian opposition party SNS deputy leader Aleksandar Vučić has condemned the authorities’ inability to make any kind of plan regarding Priština’s unilateral moves in Kosovo.

Serbian Parliament Speaker Slavica Đukić-Dejanović has stated that Serbia's EU candidacy will not be jeopardized. Đukić-Dejanović stated that it would be good to start timely talks with Priština on the demarcation line between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo.

Pristina finalizes operational plan to take control over customs points in the north. Prime Minister Thaci has declared that the implementation of the plan will start on Friday, when Kosovo customs and police officers will be stationed at Brnjak and Jarinje.

Deputy PM and Interior Minister Ivica Dačić noted that it was "wrong to believe" Serbia was ready to do anything to become a candidate for EU membership. Dačić, added that Serbia and Kosovo “could also discuss parallel institutions of (ethnic) Albanians in southern parts of central Serbia."

A barricade in the northern Kosovo municipality of Zvečan was removed on Wednesday about 11:00 CET, allowing traffic to be normalized. A convoy of about 15 KFOR vehicles was also allowed to go through.

Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has confirmed that Kosovo policemen and customs officers will take over the Jarinje and Brnjak administrative crossings together with EULEX and KFOR on September 16.

Ministry for Kosovo State Secretary Oliver Ivanović says Priština will probably postpone deployment of customs and police at the Jarinje and Brnjak crossings.

September 15

Temporary truce between Serbian and Kosovo officials, established by Commander of NATO forces in Kosovo (KFOR), German general Erhard Buehler, expires.

September 16

The operation to take control of customs points northern Kosovo due to begin.

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