Serb leaders in northern Kosovo say their preparations for a referendum later this month on the territory’s Albanian-dominated institutions are advancing despite heavy snow and freezing temperatures.
Residents of the Serb-dominated north oppose Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia and believe the referendum will underscore their stance.
But the initiative does not have the support of the Serbian government, even though Belgrade also opposes Kosovo independence. Serbian officials fear the referendum may damage Serbia’s prospects of becoming a candidate for European Union membership.
The vote is scheduled for February 15, Serbia’s national day. Voters will be asked whether they “accept the institutions of so-called Republic of Kosovo”.