"Pristina will withdraw taxes, but we paid high price"

Prishtina will withdraw taxes on goods from central Serbia sooner or later, President Aleksandar Vucic said, but also stressed that this cost Serbia a lot.

Source: Beta, Tanjug

Asked by journalists in Davos to comment on Avni Arifi, the head of the Ramush Haradinaj's cabinet, saying that the government in Pristina could temporarily suspend taxes (pending a comprehensive agreement with Belgrade), Vucic noted in a statement for RTS that this would happen sooner or later.

"Whether they will abolish, suspend or otherwise find some other way, I don't care at all. Zhey have inflicted enormous damage and brought tremendous tensions. I said that this revokal will happen and it will happen. Nevertheless, we paid a high price," said Vucic.

However, it says, and no one will compensate this, neither Pristina nor the EU, nor anyone else.


Also in Davos on Wednesday, Aleksandar Vucic met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn in Davos on Wednesday.

After the meeting with Merkel, he said she had invited him to visit Berlin again and that they had mostly talked about Kosovo and Metohija and Serbia's European integration.

"It was not a simple conversation. We in Serbia have one view on solving the (Kosovo and Metohija) issue, while the countries that recognize Kosovo have a different position. But it seems to me that Merkel appreciates and respects our wish to talk and reach compromise," he told reporters.

Vucic said that she respected Serbia's wish to talk and reach a compromise with Pristina.

"The issues we discussed the most were Kosovo and Serbia's European integration. Merkel, I believe, appreciates and respects our wish to talk and reach a compromise (with Pristina)," Vucic told reporters.

The Serbian president said Chancellor Merkel showed understanding regarding the import fees Pristina had introduced on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"I spoke about the fees, to which, I believe, Germany showed a response of understanding, since they always advocated free trade and the normal flow of goods, capital, people and services," Vucic added.

"And I learned a great deal from Merkel on this day. From her I heard that compromise was something that brings about good results and that people should strive to compromise, and not destroy or humiliate their adversaries. Whether we will understand that in Serbia is a different matter altogether," the Serbian president stated.

He said he believed it was certain that Belgrade would have significant support on its European path from Germany and Merkel.

He said he and Merkel also discussed all important issues in relations between Serbia and Germany.

"We noted that we have approached the amount of almost five billion euros in trade. Germany is by far Serba's most significant trade partner, with 13 percent of overall trade, and those numbers are increasing," Vucic stated.

He said he thanked Merkel for the large number of German investors in Serbia and that he asked her to persuade new ones to come to Serbia.

The bilateral trade volume is now close to 5 billion euros, he said.

Vucic also met with Rio Tinto representatives, whose company is carrying out Project Jadarite in Serbia.


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