"Kosovo to get calling code, Telekom to get license"

Belgrade insists in the dialogue with Pristina that as Kosovo is given a calling code Telekom should get a fixed and mobile telephony license in Kosovo.

Source: Tanjug
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This was stated by Serbian Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunication Minister Rasim Ljajic.

"The license is important, because otherwise Telekom would operate illegally. We want to ensure that Telekom operates legally on the territory of Kosovo," Ljajic said.

He said that the proposal of Serbia is to, until Kosovo gets the calling code,, the license for Telekom is deposited in the EU, which would be activated when Kosovo gets the calling code and that Serbia does not want to cheat anyone.

"We want Telekom to get the license to operate mobile and fixed telephony on the territory of Kosovo and that calling codes from Kosovo and Metohija to central Serbia are treated as a local, not international. For this there is a solution and I do not think there can be big problems," Ljajic told RTV.

What is disputed, he added, is the procedure of obtaining the calling code, as Pristina wants Austria applied for that number, "something we even agree to, but along with Serbia giving its consent."

"It is important how that number will be registered. We asked that it be 'Kosovo, Serbia' or 'Kosovo' without Serbia, but with a footnote that says it is a geographical code, and that the telephone number is practically given with the consent of Serbia. Therefore, Serbia must be mentioned in the document," said Ljajic and reminded that Kosovo without Serbia's consent cannot get a calling code, because it is not a UN member.

He said that Pristina was criticized by the EU for statements that do not correspond with reality.

"Pristina is constantly coming up with new demands, and each subsequent text always has some changes, and the goal is to create an allusion to Kosovo being independent, while we want an agreement which is status-neutral," said Ljajic.

When it comes to negotiations on energy and Serbia's property in Kosovo, Ljajic said that the Albanian side is pursuing a policy of double standards.

"We asked that Telekom and Posta assets be a topic when we talk about telecommunications, but the EU and Pristina believe that this is a separate problem, and then over energy they introduce by the back door the issue of property in order to get hold of EPS' valuable assets," Ljajic said.

Commenting on the criticism of the Albanian side that they were not compensated for the social and state property in Serbia, Ljajic said it was not a problem to put everything on the table, but pointed out that there was a huge disparity with regard to what Serbia invested in Kosovo, and what Kosovo claims to have the right to in other parts of Serbia.

Regarding the progress in negotiations concerning a future community of Serb municipalities, Ljajic said he "knows nothing about that" - but that the state does not agree to the community to be reduced to a non-governmental organization, wanting it instead to be "an institution that would protect the rights of people living in Kosovo."

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