President of the United States, Donald Trump’s son Donald Junior has tweeted that it is time to withdraw US troops from Kosovo.
Agree. There are 650 US troops in Kosovo. Time to bring them home. https://t.co/gKaQHAkyL5
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 10, 2020
His tweet came in response to a tweet by Senator of Georgia David Perdue who said that Kosovo must abolish all duties imposed on Serbia because US forces have helped to keep the peace between the two countries. He referred to “historic progress” being in sight, in terms of relations between the two countries.
For over two decades, US forces have helped keep the peace between Kosovo & Serbia. Now, with historic progress in sight, Kosovo must do its part & abolish all duties imposed on Serbia.
If Kosovo is not fully committed to peace, then the US should reconsider its presence there.
— David Perdue (@sendavidperdue) March 10, 2020
He added that if Kosovo is not fully committed to peace, then the US should reconsider its presence there.
Last week, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti announced that Kosovo would partially reduce the 100% import tax imposed on Serbian goods. If Serbia stopped the derecognition campaign against them, the tariffs would be removed completely 90 days later.
Serbia continued their campaign of getting countries to not recognise Kosovo, with reports that Sierra Leone rescinded their recognition following Serbian lobbying. The news came following a visit to the country by Serbian foreign minister Ivica Dacic.
A document obtained by RFE/RL said: “The government of the Republic of Sierra Leone is of the considered view that any recognition it had conferred (expressly or by necessary implication) on the independence of Kosovo may have been premature.”
Serbia has also blocked Kosovo’s attempts to join Interpol and UNESCO.
Despite a harsh backlash from US politicians and diplomats on Kosovo’s decision to gradually remove tariffs, there has been a lack of public displays condemning Serbia’s ongoing actions.
Serbia is growing increasingly close to Russia and veering further away from its Western allies. Serbian defence chief Aleksander Vulin boasted that Serbia would not be alone if another Balkan war broke out, due to their close alliance with Russia.
The country has also received a number of tanks and armoured combat vehicles that were apparently “donated”. In October, they also said they were planning to join the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union which would threaten their chances of joining the EU.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin who has visited Belgrade a number of times has forged a close relationship with Serbian leaders, even gifting Aleksander Vucic a puppy.
In April of last year, Dacic said that “Serbia cannot defend its state interests without the assistance of the Russian Federation”. He added that Serbia would “not do anything without consulting Russia” and that “Russia is our biggest friend”.
Today, Kurti announced he would back off his plan to phase out tariffs until his governmental coalition partner the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) agrees.