From: Bledar Qalliu
Albanian PM Urges Serbian President to Stop Blocking Kosovo Trade Trucks at the Border

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has called on Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić to let pass trucks with goods from Kosovo that have reportedly been blocked at the Serbian customs since March 30.

Rama, who tweeted in Serbian and Albanian languages, urged Vučić to join forces with Western Balkans leaders, and maintain open Green Lines for the transport of goods during the coronavirus outbreak.

@avucic Since 24 hours, trucks loaded with goods from Kosovo are blocked at the Serbian border! The Green Line in the region cannot be dependent on each country’s rules but only to one simple rule: We have to win this war altogether by helping each-other, not the enemy that knows no borders!

@avucic It is only through solidarity and compassion without borders between people who have been attacked by a vicious enemy that we can win! Please, Mr. President, raise the boom barrier for the trucks, and let’s make our region a splendid example of the much needed solidarity for winning this was.

Serbia has reportedly blocked several trucks from Kosovo one day before the expected decision by Kosovo’s government to lift tariffs on Serbian goods and gradually introduce reciprocity measures for a temporary period until June 15. The decision will be reassessed at that time, in light of Serbia’s decision regarding dropping or not non-tariff trade barriers with Kosovo and stopping its lobbying campaign against the country’s international recognition.

Serbia and Kosovo are the only two Western Balkan countries that have not officially adopted a recent proposal by CEFTA Secretariat for establishing green lanes in the region, open priority routes for transport of goods during the coronavirus epidemic, according to a European Commission official.

In a tweet, Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, Director for WB at the EC, congratulated Albania for joining the initiative and urged Serbia and Kosovo to do the same soon.

A senior official from Kosovo’s ministry of foreign affairs, confirmed that trucks were blocked at the Serbian border. MF Glauk Konjufca’s chief of cabinet Kreshnik Ahmeti said he hoped Serbia will soon lift these non-tariff barriers and take a step toward normalization of relations.

Unlike previous leaders of their countries, Rama and Vučić have established a good personal and official relationship. Last year, they led an initiative to establish a free trade zone in the region, dubbed the mini-Schengen initiative, the fate of which has remained unclear, mainly due to Kosovo’s refusal to participate in it.