Taxes could remain forever, Haradinaj says; Vucic reacts

Ramush Haradinaj says taxes on products from central Serbia increased by 100 percent would remain in force until "mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia."

Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug
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Pristina (Tanjug, file)
Pristina (Tanjug, file)

After a government session, he told reporters that he was "willing to listen to suggestions and appeals from the United States and the European Union to lift the new customs fee, but it is clear that such a decision can't be made at this point," Beta reported.

Tanjug said that the prime minister of the provisional Kosovo institutions on Tuesday met with the US ambassador in Pristina, to say afterwards that trade barriers, also targeting Bosnia-Herzegovina, "could remain in force forever."

That could happen unless Belgrade "recognizes Kosovo," he said, according to Pristina-based website Zeri.

The US ambassador did not make any statements after the meeting.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who is in Davos, Switzerland, said Haradinaj's statement was "a bad signal for Serbia and the whole region" - adding, "we cannot respond in any other way except by continuing with pleas for taxes to be revoked."

Until that happens, there's nothing to talk about, Vucic said.

Haradinaj's position, he continued, speaks not only about Pristina's stance, but also about that of other factors in in the world.

"We are strong enough to be able to raise our own economy, regardless of this influencing us badly," the president, said, observing that the reaction would have been different had Serbia reached for similar measures, and at the same time "thanking all those from the world who at least formally said that taxes should be revoked, instead of, as usual, blaming 'both sides'."

Vucic also announced that Serbia would continue to supply its people in Kosovo and Metohija with goods, "regardless of the difficulties."

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