The European Union has said Pristina’s decision to raise import taxes on goods from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in response to what it feels is Serbia’s destructive behaviour, was unexpected and the bloc has demanded an immediate explanation and annulment of the move, media reported on Wednesday.
Maja Kocijancic, the spokesperson for the European Foreign and Security policy chief Federica Mogherini, demanded clarification from Pristina's authorities since, as she put it, the measure “clearly violated the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), the Radio Free Europe (RFE) reported.
The EU is seeking urgent clarifications about the unexpected decision by the Kosovo government to impose a 10% increase on import taxes on goods coming from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina #WesternBalkanspic.twitter.com/aqDiwDs5gA— Maja Kocijančič (@MajaEUspox) November 7, 2018
“The European Union expects Kosovo, currently chairing the CEFTA, to entirely respect the organisation's rules and to revoke the decision,” Kocijancic said in a statement.
The statement added that Kosovo Government’s decision undermined the regional cooperation including the economic relations and was not in line with the principles envisaged by the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and Kosovo.
The head of Serbia’s Government Office for Kosovo Marko Djuric described Pristina’s decision as “a trade war without any link to normality.”
Marko Djuric has added that as long as “the politically motivated” move, "contrary to all agreements,” is in force, it will block the continuation of the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue in Brussels.
The dialogue is on hold since July when presidents Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia and Hashim Thaci of Kosovo last met face to face and when in September avoided each other and only separately talked with Mogherini who mediated the dialogue.