Inside Story

What is behind the violence between Serbia and Kosovo?

Tensions rise in the Balkans with attacks on police, mass police resignations and delayed elections.

What appears to be a simple row about car licence plates has amplified already strained relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

The European Union is urging all parties to de-escalate.

Kosovo used to be part of Serbia. But ethnic Albanians make up 92 percent of the 1.8 million people who live there.

About 6 percent are ethnically Serb, and they say they have been marginalised.

Serbs began blocking border crossings on Saturday after the arrest of a former policeman. He was one of 600 officers who resigned last month in protest against Kosovo’s plans to ban Serbian licence plates.

Serbia’s President Aleksander Vucic blames Kosovo for provoking the situation.

What is the bigger issue at play here?

Presenter: Laura Kyle


Xhemajl Rexha – Chairman of the board of the Association of Journalists of Kosovo

Darko Trifunovic – Director, Institute for National and International Security of Serbia

David L Phillips – Director, Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University