Pristina's tax discriminates against everything Serbian - PM

Ana Brnabic stressed in Vienna on Monday that Pristina's new taxation, that go against the CEFTA agreement, discriminate against everything that is Serbian.

Source: Tanjug
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Participants in the meeting in Vienna on Monday (Tanjug/AP)
Participants in the meeting in Vienna on Monday (Tanjug/AP)

The Serbian prime minister was addressing a press conference after a working breakfast organized by the current EU presidency holder, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, with other Western Balkans prime ministers.

Brnabic indicated that Serbia is turned toward the future, but regrettably, the region is moving backwards every now and again.

This is, she stressed, especially noticeable in the last two weeks, and pointed out that Pristina has violated the regional free trade agreement CEFTA by increasing taxes on goods coming from central Serbia.

"It is not in line with CEFTA, and represents clear discrimination against everything that is Serbian. We hope in the future that we will be able to implement this agreement, which will enable us to continue the talks on what we can achieve together," she explained.

Brnabic thanked Kurz for his country keeping EU enlargement high on the list of its priorities, and voiced hope for further opening of (Serbia's EU accession) chapters, which, she pointed out, was an important signal for the citizens of Serbia.

She said that Serbia is committed to European integration, reforms, as well as to regional cooperation, which are also key priorities of our country, not just because of the path towards the EU.

Ramush Haradinaj, prime minister of the interim institutions in Pristina, who spoke after Brnabic, said that the move by Pristina that is contrary CEFTA was due to alleged "long-standing unequal treatment of goods from Kosovo in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina."

Furthermore, Haradinaj spoke about visa liberalization with the EU, saying that Pristina is ready for this, but that today in Europe there is no readiness to decide on the issue.

EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn said that EU enlargement is one of the three key priorities of his country Austria's EU presidency, which he said was very important. At the same time, Hahn pointed out that it was important that the Western Balkans integrate into a common market, for which it is important to "remove all barriers, formal and informal".

Connecting the region, according to him, is of great importance to the region, "especially in the energy sector."

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