Serbian Troops Monitoring Situation at de-Facto Serbia-Kosovo Border Amid Protests
23:12 GMT 27.09.2021 (Updated: 01:49 GMT 28.09.2021)
RASKA, Serbia (Sputnik) - Serbian troops and military equipment are keeping watch on the road to a checkpoint between Serbia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo, which remains blocked by Kosovo Serbs for the eighth day in a row, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Monday.
The protesters are against a ban on Serbian license plates imposed by Kosovo. The new regulation requires that all vehicles entering Kosovo be equipped with temporary Pristina-issued license plates, which outraged the Serb population.
Four Lazar and Milos armored vehicles have been deployed on the sides of the road from the Serbian town of Raska to the Yarine checkpoint at the administrative line between central Serbia and northern Kosovo and Metohija.
The soldiers allowed the correspondent to take photos of them and the vehicles as long as their faces were not seen. There also have been unconfirmed reports about T-72MS tanks being deployed.
The checkpoint itself is quiet today, with Serbian police officers checking documents of few people that pass through.
Among those who cross the line are not only people with relatives on the other side but also students and workers.
"Our economy has already taken a hit — workers from northern Kosovo and Metohija cannot get to the textile factory that was opened in Raska two years ago, a whole production line is out of commission. There are other factories that workers cannot access. But employers are trying to show understanding and support those who bravely continue the blockade," the head of the Raska municipality told Sputnik.
Earlier in the day, patrols of the NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR) arrived at a checkpoint to maintain security and freedom of movement.