Serbia will seek an urgent U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss the escalation of tensions with its former province of Kosovo after its government decided to ban the use of the Serbian dinar and introduce the euro in areas where minority Serbs live, Serbia’s president said on Friday.
Kosovo’s government has banned banks and other financial institutions in the Serb-populated areas from using the dinar in local transactions. Kosovo’s Central Bank issued the new rules last summer.
Most of Kosovo uses the euro, even though the country is not part of the European Union.
But parts of Kosovo’s north, populated mostly by ethnic Serbs, continue to use the dinar and many there rely on the government of Serbia for financial support, often delivered in dinars in cash.
In an address to the nation on Friday, Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic, said Kosovo’s ban of the dinar is intended to “ethnically cleanse” the Serbs from Kosovo, describing it as “a criminal strike” against the Serbs.
Serbia will ignore the currency rule, he said, and find a way so that Kosovo Serbs continue to receive their pensions and salaries from Serbia.
“People are scared, they are waiting in lines to get their money,” Vucic said. “On Monday, we will continue delivering the money through an authorized and licensed carrier.”
The EU and the United States have called on Kosovo to postpone the currency measure. The measure has sparked concern among Western powers, fearing more tension in Kosovo’s relations with Serbia.
This post is also available in: Italiano