Pristina persistently ignores the strategy of the region to unite around vital, economic issues within the “Open Balkans” initiative. Instead, the Prime Minister of the Provisional Institutions of Pristina, Albin Kurti, and his associates decided to further lower the ramps, trampling on all the agreements reached – from Brussels, Washington, to CEFTA.
Only a day after they did not even want to talk about the Union of Serbian Municipalities at the negotiations in Brussels, they threatened to introduce new measures for goods coming from central Serbia, ie confectionery products.
The Minister of Industry, Entrepreneurship and Trade, the so-called Kosovo’s Rosetta Hajdari said that “products imported into the territory of Kosovo have an enormous increase and damage to domestic producers”, so moves are being considered so that as few biscuits and other sweets as possible arrive through administrative crossings. This directly violates the agreements on the free flow of goods reached within CEFTA, where Pristina also has a “chair”.
– This is a political, not an economic or trade measure – the Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Tatjana Matić, answered. – On the occasion of this announcement from Pristina, we will address the institutions in Brussels, as well as the CEFTA Secretariat, as well as the embassies of Quinte. CEFTA is the largest form of trade community that exists, and the announcement of such decisions does not contribute to the development of trade relations, nor to the political dialogue in the Western Balkans, which Serbia stands for. We hope, however, that this decision will not be reached.
The director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Petar Petković, reiterated that Pristina has again shown that it is not interested in the normalization of relations.
– After Pristina’s refusal to participate in the constructive dialogue in Brussels, there are new unilateral moves by Kurti, whose associates are announcing a new blockade for Serbian products. With this, they are violating the CEFTA agreement, undermining the Brussels agreement and showing that they are not interested in the normalization of relations – Petković wrote, and added that Pristina is showing its true face by setting up barriers and blockades.
Director of the American Chamber of Commerce at the so-called. Kosovo’s Arian Zeka, however, warned on Friday that “Kosovo should be careful about introducing taxes” and that it must not violate international free trade rules.
– Despite the fact that Kosovo has the right to impose such measures, full implementation of international trade laws and rules must be ensured before such decisions are made, so that we do not face any countermeasures or any punishment from international dispute settlement institutions. – said Zeka.
By the way, at this time in 2018, Pristina raised levies on Serbian goods in the amount of 100 percent. Despite pressure from foreign countries, the measure lasted a year and a half, when Kurti abolished it. Recently, they announced that they would introduce a “tribute” to construction material that comes from central Serbia, but that has not been implemented yet.
WAITING FOR GOODS PERMITS
At the last meeting of the leaders of the region in Belgrade, within the initiative “Open Balkans”, it was pointed out that the producers have a big problem with waiting at the crossings until they get all the necessary permits for the goods, which even spoiled. Any new obstacle, such as the introduction of Pristina taxes, is an additional blow to both citizens and the economy.
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