Kosovo-Serbia: New Border Rules Postponed

    Photo: AFP/Getty Images [via CNN]

    The Facts

    • On Mon., ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo cleared blockades along the Serbian border, after increased tensions led to gunfire and air raid sirens over the weekend. Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008, is recognized as sovereign by roughly 100 countries, not including Serbia or BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).

    • The flare-up came after officials in the Kosovo capital of Pristina declared policies requiring Serbs in Kosovo to change their car licence plates and have new documents within 60 days. Roughly 50K Serbs live in northern Kosovo, many of whom don't recognize Pristina's authority and continue to have Serbian licence plates and papers.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    This decision won't solve the long-lasting crisis between Serbia and Kosovo, which NATO provoked by bombing Belgrade and dissolving former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. On top of that, the West has made things even worse by backing Kosovo's self-declared independence. Now, Western countries are trying to de-escalate tensions to cover their own mistakes.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Despite Moscow's accusations that NATO has created chaos in the Balkans, the alliance stabilized the situation in the 1990s and current tensions have nothing to do with the dissolution of Yugoslavia. It's the Kremlin's influence in Serbia that's been fueling conflicts not only with Kosovo but also in Bosnia and Montenegro as Belgrade follows Putin's expansionist strategies.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that Serbia will recognize Kosovo by 2042, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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