March 24, 2018 / 1:27 PM / a year ago

Kosovo rings changes, stops using Serbia's international phone code

PRISTINA (Reuters) - Kosovo’s state telecom company said on Saturday it has stopped using Serbia’s country code for landline phone calls, and instead will use its own new code.

The move comes two years after Serbia, which does not recognise the independence of its former province, agreed to allow Pristina to have its own international telephone code.

“From March 24th the +381 code cannot be used. Now you have to use +383 code. Please inform your associates and friends,” Kosovo Telecom said in an SMS message to its clients.

The landlocked Balkan country, which declared independence in 2008, has been using the codes of Serbia, Monaco (+377) and Slovenia (+386). Mobile operators will also change codes in the coming months.

The country of 1.8 million people is recognised by 116 nations but is not a United Nations member because of objections from Serbia, some European Union states and UN Security Council members Russia and China.

While Serbia does not formally recognise the independence of its former province, it has agreed to hold talks to normalise relations and smooth Belgrade’s path towards EU membership.

Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Editing by Andrew Bolton

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