MITROVICA, Kosovo– Countless minority Serbs in Kosovo on Monday objected a restriction of using the Serbian currenc y in locations where they live, a concern that has actually been the reason for the current crisis in relations in between Serbia and Kosovo.
Stress intensified after the federal government of Kosovo, a previous Serbian province, prohibited banks and other banks in the Serb-populated locations from utilizing the dinar in regional deals, beginning Feb. 1, and enforced the euro.
The dinar was commonly utilized in ethnic Serbian-dominated locations, specifically in Kosovo’s north, to pay pensions and incomes to personnel in Serbian-run organizations, consisting of schools and healthcare facilities.
The restriction has actually outraged both Kosovo Serbs and Serbia. The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo sparred over the concern at a conference recently at the United Nations Security Council.
Protesters at the rally in the Serb part of the divided northern Kosovo town of Mitrovica stated that eliminating the dinar breaches the rights of the Serbs in Kosovo and is inequitable. They advised the global neighborhood to put pressure on the Kosovo federal government to reverse the relocation.
” This essentially implies removing food from our tables,” stated Dusanka Djorovic, from a regional pensioners’ association.
Dragisa Milovic, a physician, stated that Kosovo’s choice “is focused on eliminating Serb organizations in these locations.”
In Pristina, Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti dismissed such criticism in a message to the Kosovo Serbs. Kurti firmly insisted that the brand-new procedure is focused on suppressing prohibited cash circulation and “does not stop Serbia from economically helping the residents of Kosovo’s Serb neighborhood.”
” Kosovo did not stop the dinar, or the dollar, pound, or Swiss franc,” stated Kurti. “The only modification from Feb. 1 is that the money can not cross the border in sacks … however must come through checking account and (be) withdrawn in euros.”
In 1999, a 78-day NATO battle project ended a war in between Serbian federal government forces and ethnic Albanian separatists in Kosovo. Serbian forces were pressed out however Belgrade never ever acknowledged Kosovo’s self-reliance and still considers it a Serbian province.
The European Union and the United States have actually revealed issue that Kosovo’s restriction of the dinar might raise stress in a currently unpredictable area and required assessments and a hold-up in the restriction.
The EU has actually brokered settlements in between Serbia and Kosovo in a quote to stabilize their relations however the talks have actually revealed sluggish development while periodic violent occurrences have actually sustained worries of instability in the Balkans as the war raves in Ukraine.