Kosovo Serbs announce plan for "autonomous" parliament

By bne IntelliNews June 3, 2013

bne -

Serbs living in the volatile northern Kosovo announced on May 31 that they plan to form an "autonomous" parliament for the enclave, in defiance of an EU-brokered deal, agreed between Belgrade and Pristina in April, to normalize ties.

A constitutive session of the parliament has been scheduled for June 6, a local leader, Momcilo Gvozdic, told Beta news agency. The While the central governments - pushed by the EU - have been straining to hammer out a plan to move relations forwards, the situation of the relatively large Kosovo Serb population in the north of Kosovo has been a significant barrier.

In April, the leaders of Serbia and its former province finally agreed in Brussels to normalize ties, which envisaged the dismantling of Belgrade's underground institutions in north Kosovo, which is dominated by Serbs.

The integration of the north into Kosovo's institutional framework is a crucial condition for Serbia to get the green light from the EU to begin membership talks in June, dpa notes. However, Kosovo Serbs have rejected the agreement, insisting that they will not submit to the authority of Pristina.

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