PRISTINA (Kosovo), January 20 (SeeNews) – Germany's Lufthansa has signed a letter of intent with Kosovo's authorities to start flights from Prisina to Serbia’s Belgrade, Kosovo president Hashim Thaci said on Monday.
“This is an important step for the movement of citizens and the normalization process,” Thaci said in a Twitter post.
In a separate statement, Kosovo’s outgoing prime minister Ramush Haradinaj said that “the initiative to open Kosovo’s third civilian air route for commercial flights with Serbia, after Albania and North Macedonia, is a giant step forward in advancing good neighborly relations and consolidating Kosovo’s sovereignty.”
Thaci and Haradinaj provided no information when the Pristina-Belgrade service is expected to start.
Kosovo, considered to be a potential candidate for EU membership by the European Commission, unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has so far has been recognised by more than half of the 193 UN member states. Belgrade does not recognise Kosovo's independence.
EU-facilitated talks for normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina began in March 2011. Progress in the talks deteriorated after the government in Pristina increased in November 2018 the import tariffs on all goods produced in Serbia and Bosnia to 100% from previous 10%, saying the move aims to protect Kosovo's sovereignty and interests. The scope of the new import tariffs was expanded in December 2018 to include products manufactured under international brands in Serbia and Bosnia.