|Russia will fully support its ally Serbia|
The decision by Kosovo authorities to ban Serbian license plates and IDs, Peskov called "absolutely absurd". Earlier, on Sunday (31/7), the Kosovo government took a decision that will oblige Serbs in the north of the country, to apply for car number plates issued by the Pristina institute. It is known that many vehicles with Serbian plates operate in the country, mainly around North Kosovo, as quoted by Russia Today.
Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said Russia would fully support its ally Serbia in the dispute with Kosovo over the breakaway province's decision to ban Serbian number plates and identity papers. "Of course, we really support Serbia," Peskov replied, after being asked about the matter by reporters on Monday (1/8). This decision then made a massive protest from Serbs living in Kosovo. Kosovo police reportedly started firing at protesters and closed the border connecting the two countries. Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti announced in the afternoon that the ban had been postponed at the request of the US ambassador to the province. However, Kurti stressed, the actions that Pristina said were necessary to enforce "law and order" were only postponed, not cancelled.
Russia's Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko also warned on Monday that "it is difficult to see the conditions for finding sustainable solutions to the problems that are causing the current spike in tensions." Kharchenko said the lack of agreement on license plates, ID and many other similar items had been "used by Pristina to make unilateral and spontaneous decisions aimed at squeezing (Serbs) out of Kosovo". "An escalation can be avoided tonight, but this situation has only been postponed for a month, so it is very important for all parties to show caution," the Kremlin press secretary said.
According to Peskov, Moscow believes that Western countries, which recognized Kososvo as a mostly Albanian population in 2008, "should now use their influence to warn the authorities in Kosovo not to take the wrong step". Kosovo itself has been recognized as an independent country by more than 100 countries. But so far the country in the Balkans is not recognized by Serbia and Russia. In a speech on Sunday, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic urged all parties to maintain peace at all costs.
However, he also blamed the authorities in Kosovo for violating the human rights of Serbs there.
"I also call on representatives of the great and powerful countries, which have recognized the so-called independence of Kosovo, to pay little attention to international law and realities on the ground and not to allow their environment to cause conflict," he stressed. "The atmosphere has warmed up, and Serbia will experience no more cruelty," Vucic said.