The government of Albin Kurti has partially lifted the tariffs on Serbian imports today, in line with Kurti’s previous proposal, which was opposed by the US administration and coalition partner Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).
Today’s decision immediately lifts tariffs on raw materials imported from Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina. Raw materials comprise about that 75 percent of Kosovo’s total imports from Serbia.
On April 1, the government will issue another decision to fully lift the tariffs imposed by the previous government in November 2018, and start implementation of reciprocity measures with Serbia in all fields.
Kurti stated that 10 ministers voted for today’s decision, and 2 abstained. Kosovo’s government has 15 ministers.
According to reports from local media, the government didn’t convey for a regular meeting due to coronavirus, but ministers voted online. Ministers of LDK did not participate, and Lista Srbska abstained.
LDK left the coalition due to Kurti’s disagreement with the US administration‘s approach that his government drop tariffs immediately and unconditionally, with no measures of reciprocity toward Serbia. Reciprocity measures were included in the governing coalition’s program signed by LVV and LDK but US envoy Richard Grenell’s pressure forced LDK to seek the collapse of their own government.
Instead of Prime Minister Albin Kurti, Grenell favors President Hashim Thaci to lead Kosovo in talks with Serbia’s President Alexandar Vucic over a possible final agreement between the two countries.