Kosovo bans use of Serbian currency, prompting thousands of minority Serbs to protest

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Thousands of number Serbs successful Kosovo connected Monday protested a prohibition of nan usage of nan Serbian rate successful areas wherever they live, an rumor that has been nan origin of nan latest situation successful relations betwixt Serbia and Kosovo.

Tensions escalated aft the government of Kosovo, a erstwhile Serbian province, banned banks and different financial institutions successful nan Serb-populated areas from utilizing nan dinar successful section transactions, starting Feb. 1, and imposed nan euro.

The dinar was wide utilized successful taste Serbian-dominated areas, particularly successful Kosovo’s north, to salary pensions and salaries to unit successful Serbian-run institutions, including schools and hospitals.

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The prohibition has angered some Kosovo Serbs and Serbia. The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo sparred complete nan rumor astatine a gathering past week astatine nan United Nations Security Council.

Protesters astatine nan rally successful nan Serb portion of nan divided bluish Kosovo municipality of Mitrovica said that abolishing nan dinar violates nan authorities of nan Serbs successful Kosovo and is discriminatory. They urged nan world organization to put unit connected nan Kosovo authorities to reverse nan move.

"This virtually intends taking distant nutrient from our tables," said Dusanka Djorovic, from a section pensioners' association.

Dragisa Milovic, a doctor, said that Kosovo's determination "is aimed astatine abolishing Serb institutions successful these areas."

In Pristina, Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti dismissed specified disapproval successful a connection to nan Kosovo Serbs. Kurti insisted that nan caller measurement is aimed astatine curbing forbidden money travel and "does not extremity Serbia from financially assisting nan citizens of Kosovo’s Serb community."

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"Kosovo did not extremity nan dinar, aliases nan dollar, pound, aliases Swiss franc," said Kurti. "The only alteration from Feb. 1 is that nan rate cannot transverse nan separator successful sacks ... but should travel done slope accounts and (be) withdrawn successful euros."

In 1999, a 78-day NATO bombing run ended a warfare betwixt Serbian authorities forces and taste Albanian separatists successful Kosovo. Serbian forces were pushed retired but Belgrade ne'er recognized Kosovo’s independency and still considers it a Serbian province.

The European Union and nan United States person expressed interest that Kosovo’s prohibition of nan dinar could raise tensions successful an already volatile region and called for consultations and a hold successful nan ban.

The EU has brokered negotiations betwixt Serbia and Kosovo successful a bid to normalize their relations but nan talks person showed slow advancement while occasional convulsive incidents person fueled fears of instability successful nan Balkans arsenic nan warfare rages successful Ukraine.