On Monday, NATO-led peacekeepers supported by helicopters monitored the clearing of obstacles set up by demonstrators in north Kosovo, where political tensions have erupted for more than two decades since a conflict ended with NATO bombings.
The barricades were removed when the Kosovo government delayed the implementation of a resolution that would have required ethnic Serbs, who make up the majority in the north, to apply for documents and car license plates issued by Kosovan authorities.
The scenario has reignited tensions with Serbia and Russia, both of which do not recognize Western-aligned Kosovo as an independent state and have obstructed its attempts to join the United Nations. Kosovo, which is recognized as a nation by over 100 countries, is attempting to join NATO.
Following negotiations with US and EU diplomats, the administration decided to postpone.
“Violence will not be tolerated. Those who use violence will be punished by the rule of law with the force of law,” Prime Minister Albin Kurti told journalists on Monday. He said a total of nine road bocks had been set up.
It was unclear how many of the barriers had been removed. According to a Reuters reporter, a bridge near the Brnjak border crossing was still closed in the afternoon.
By 1.30 p.m. (1130 GMT), most of the barricades had been lifted, but the border crossing had not yet reopened.