Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti has announced that he will begin the gradual abolition of the 100 per cent tariff on products from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina on March 15th
At an extraordinary press conference, Kurti said the first step is to lift the tariff on raw materials coming from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina:
“As the Government of Kosovo, we will make a decision on 15 March 2020 to abolish the tariff on raw materials imported from Serbia, as a sign of goodwill to resolve the political and economic dispute with Serbia.”
Kurti urged that immediately after Kosovo’s decision, Serbia should respond by halting the campaign to withdraw recognition of Kosovo’s independence.
He said that if Serbia proves that it will stop the campaign against Kosovo, then the Government will remove the tariff 100% for all goods on April 1, 2020, for a period of 90 days.
But if Serbia does not stop campaigning against Kosovo, Kurti said the tariff will be reinstated:
“If Serbia does not respect the will of the Government of Kosovo to eliminate economic barriers, then the Government will start implementing reciprocity from April 1, first in the field of trade and then in the economic and political field.”
Since 2018 Kosovo has imposed a 100 per cent tax on Serbian and Bosnian goods. The move was seen as a response by Ramush Haradinaj’s government to Serbia’s blocking policies.
After the levy, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic suspended talks on normalizing Pristina-Belgrade relations.
For 2 years, internationals have sought to mediate the resumption of dialogue and have sought a 100 per cent tariff lift as the only opportunity to resume Kosovo-Serbia talks.