Serbian foreign minister Ivica Dacic has stated that Serbia will continue its derecognition campaign against Kosovo until they reach an agreement.
Dacic told Serbian Happy TV today that Serbia could temporarily stop the campaign if Kosovo stops applying for membership in international organizations, local media reported.
The minister’s comments come amidst increased US pressure on Kosovo’s Kurti Government to unconditionally scrap tariffs imposed on Serbian goods by the previous government. Kurti planned to partially lift tariffs on March 15, and then completely scrap them before April 1. His proposal also foresees the imposition of reciprocity 90 days after April 1, if Serbia does not take similar goodwill steps, namely stopping the derecognition campaign and lifting not-tariff trade barriers while they prepare to resume the dialogue. Kurti later seemed to back off from asking for a parliamentary vote on the proposal following disagreement with coalition ally LDK party.
The US has also called on Serbia stop its derecognition campaign in order to restart the dialogue but so far the warning has been to no avail.
On the contrary, less than two weeks ago, President Vucic and foreign minister Dacic proudly announced that Sierro Leone has withdrawn recognition of Kosovo following years of lobbying by the Serbian government. Kosovo’s foreign minister Glauk Konjufca said today that the verbal note from Sierra Leone shown by Dacic was probably authentic. Kurti called on the US and EU to pressure Serbia against this campaign.