New Serbia's MUP plates are not valid in Kosovo
12. January 2011. | 07:44
All new plates issued by Serbia's MUP which have letter abbreviations for cities of Kosovo will be seized and the case will be handed over to the authorities. Old plates remain valid until the Government of Kosovo reaches a final decision.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kosovo on Tuesday passed a regulation which prohibits the movement in the province of vehicles with new Serbian Interior Ministry (MUP) license plates inscribed with the first letters of the Kosovo cities on them.
The license plates are being issued by MUP since the beginning of 2011, and the regulation was issued by outgoing Interior Minister of Kosovo Bajram Redzepi.
Redzepi told the Tanjug news agency that the regulation was forwarded to all regional police centers in Kosovo and was effective immediately.
All new plates issued by Serbia's MUP which have letter abbreviations for cities of Kosovo will be seized and the case will be handed over to the authorities. Old plates remain valid until the Government of Kosovo reaches a final decision, which will probably envisage a period of several months to be given for re-registration, Redzepi explained.
The regulation was issued under the Law on road traffic safety in Kosovo, according to which any police officer is obliged to remove from the public highway any vehicle which is not registered, does not possess valid license plates, or has not passed any ordinary or extraordinary technical control.
Decision of Kosovo MUP is political and will have no effect
The decision by the Kosovo Interior Ministry to ban vehicles from the province if they bear new licence plates containing the initials of Kosovo municipalities, which have been issued by the Serbian Interior Ministry (MUP), is of political nature and will have no effects, Serbian State Secretary for Kosovo-Metohija Oliver Ivanovic stated on Tuesday.
“The order of the outgoing Minister Bajram Redzepi is regrettable and can have no practical effects, since it was brought by an outgoing minister who now holds his mandate only in technical terms,” Ivanovic told Tanjug.
Ivanovic said that one more reason why the decision is wrong is that Belgrade and Pristina are facing negotiations which will focus on the issue of licence plates and personal documents almost immediately upon initiation.
“Besides, Redzepi has no right to make such an order, all the more now that Serbia has adopted a decision to replace licence plates in its entire territory, including Kosovo-Metohija, and nobody is being left out by this decision, which means that Albanian can also replace their plates, provided they meet legal criteria,” Ivanovic stated.
He pointed out that this is a political decision aimed at earning some cheap political points for its makers, but it will have no effects as the replacement of licence plates has not yet set deeper roots, but rather represents a voluntary act.
The deadline for licence plate replacement is one year.