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Saturday December 04, 2021

Kosovo lifts 100pc tariff on Serbian goods

By AFP
April 02, 2020

PRISTINA: Kosovo abolished a 100-percent tariff on Serbian imports on Wednesday, the caretaker government said, lifting a blockade that has thwarted talks between the former war foes for over a year.

The tariff was introduced in late 2018 to protest Belgrade's campaign to undermine global recognition of Kosovo, a former Serbian province. Belgrade has rejected Kosovo's independence and refused to resume the EU-led negotiations aimed at resolving tensions between the neighbours.

Caretaker premier Albin Kurti said the tariff would now be replaced with "reciprocity", a policy which could see Kosovo match Serbia on matters like health certificates on food imports or other documentation complicated by Belgrade's stance.

The United States has applied pressure on Kurti to drop the tariff in recent weeks, including suspending some $50 million in economic aid.

But Washington was not satisfied with Wednesday's announcement, saying any "reciprocal measures on the movement of goods from Serbia" could "create more problems". Serbia also appeared unimpressed, with Marko Djuric, who heads an office dealing with Kosovo, warning the move only meant "new punitive measures" from Pristina.