Kosovo does not allow Serbian referendum in North of the country on Sunday

Kosovo has rejected a call from Western governments to let its ethnic Serb minority vote in a referendum of neighboring Serbia, as it had done in Serbian elections until now, in what could fuel tensions in the volatile part of the Balkans.

A joint statement by Kosovo’s top authorities said the Serbs can cast ballots only via mail or at a liaison office, without following the past practice of setting up voting stations in Serb-dominated areas.

Kosovo laws “do not recognize the right of one state to hold a referendum in the sovereign territory of another state,” said a statement from Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani’s office. “The practices applied so far since 2012 have been unconstitutional.”

Kosovo police on Saturday said they had stopped from entering documentation that Serbia had sent to allow the ethnic Serb minority to take part in a referendum.

A statement said that one car and two trucks were stopped at the Merdare border crossing point with Serbia a day earlier. The trucks have been confiscated while six people in the vehicles were turned back.

Serbia is holding a referendum on Sunday on changes to the judiciary that would bring it closer to EU norms. / Argumentum.al