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Serbian President's convoy blocked in Kosovo

The block was undertaken by Kosovo war veterans
14:17, 9 September 2018

Open source

Kosovo, which has a population of 1.8 million and is mainly ethnic Albanian, declared independence from Belgrade in 2008, almost a decade after NATO air strikes ousted Serbian forces and halted a crackdown on ethnic Albanians in a counter-insurgency. 

It is now recognized by more than 100 nations but not by Serbia, Russia, and five EU states. 

A minority of Kosovo’s remaining Serbians live in small enclaves in areas mainly populated by Albanians who account for more than 90 percent of the Kosovo population. The majority of Kosovo’s Serbs live in northern areas bordering Serbia and do not recognize Pristina institutions. 

Related: Serbia and Kosovo considering possibility of peace agreement and changing borders

“Vucic should apologize for crimes committed and massacres all over Kosovo,” said one banner on the road to Banje, which was blocked by cars and a truck. 

“Vucic will not pass,” another read. 

The Serbian president had told reporters in the morning that he will try to use a bypass road to visit the village. 

Related: Serbia held emergency meeting due to risk of aggravation with Kosovo

Normalizing bilateral ties is a key condition for both Kosovo and Serbia to advance towards their eventual goal of EU membership. 

Expectations of an agreement that would involve a land swap proposed by both Belgrade and Pristina dimmed after a face-to-face meeting between Vucic and his Kosovo counterpart, Hashim Thaci, was abruptly canceled on Friday. 

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Related: "You are our only hope": Serbians from Kosovo appeal to Putin for help

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