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Kosovo Hard-Liners End Protest At Serbian Border


Supporters of Kosovo's nationalist Self-Determination Movement during a January 22 protest in Podujevo, on the way to the Kosovo-Serbia border

Supporters of Kosovo's nationalist Self-Determination Movement during a January 22 protest in Podujevo, on the way to the Kosovo-Serbia border

Kosovo ethnic Albanian hard-liners have called off a protest at border crossings with Serbia, complaining of police restrictions and freezing temperatures.

The nationalist Self-Determination Movement said that "due to logistical restrictions enforced by police and the freezing temperatures" it became impossible to continue the protest and that leaders of the movement had asked protesters to "disperse quietly."

The movement, the third-biggest party in the Kosovo parliament, opposes all contact with Serbia.

Police on January 22 prevented the protesters from blocking two border crossings with Serbia in northern and eastern Kosovo in order to keep Serbian products from entering Kosovo.

Last week, a similar protest saw over 50 people injured, including 31 police officers.

Ethnic Serbs erected barriers in northern Kosovo in July to obstruct Pristina's efforts to establish order on the border with Serbia in a campaign that resulted in bloodshed. Pristina and Belgrade agreed to work together on their border after stern warnings from the EU, whose members in December put off a decision on granting Serbia formal EU candidate status until February or March.

based on agency and media reports

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