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Solution to Kosovo import tax problem easy - Serbian PM Brnabic

Author Radomir Ralev
Solution to Kosovo import tax problem easy - Serbian PM Brnabic Brnabic speaking at the annual meeting of the EBRD in Sarajevo; Author: Radomir Ralev

SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), May 8 (SeeNews) - Finding a solution to the Kosovo import tax problem is easy because it comes down to honouring international commitments and it is important that economic interaction continues despite all open issues, Serbian prime minister Ana Brnabic said on Wednesday. 

"It is easy to find a solution of a problem that is in contradiction to the CEFTA agreement and the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) signed by Pristina with the European Union (EU)," Brnabic told reporters on the sidelines of the EBRD 2019 Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Sarajevo.

In February, the European Union office in Pristina said that Kosovo’s decision to impose a 100% tariff on goods imported from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina is a clear violation of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), runs contrary to the spirit of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SSA) and has a negative impact on regional cooperation.

"What is needed is a political decision to develop economic cooperation despite all open political issues," Brnabic said.

Serbia's exports to Kosovo were completely suspended as of December 31, following a decision by the government in Pristina to increase import tariffs on all goods produced in Serbia and Bosnia to 100%.

Kosovo's decision has resulted in direct damages estimated at 46.1 million euro ($51.6 million) for the Serbian economy between November 21 and December 31, Serbian trade minister Rasim Ljajic said earlier.

Serbia and Bosnia both do not recognise the independence of Kosovo, the former southern province of Serbia populated predominantly by ethnic Albanians.

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.

($ = 0.892835 euro)

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