Spain and Russia sharply criticise import tariffs, Kosovo army creation

Spain and Russia sharply criticise import tariffs, Kosovo army creation

Spain and Russia sharply criticise import tariffs, Kosovo army creation Izvor: AFP

Pedro Sánchez, the Prime Minister of Spain, said in Brussels on Friday that Pristina’s decision to introduce "enormous customs duties" to goods from Serbia and Bosnia and to form an army did not lead to good relations with Belgrade, the Beta news agency reported.

His criticism was met with even stronger Russia’s reaction, with Moscow saying the creation of Kosovo’s army “seriously deteriorates the situation in the Balkans, bringing along a risk of an armed conflict in the region.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the Pristina move was “a severe violation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1244,” passed in after the 1998-1999 war which ended after NATO bombing to stop what it said was Belgarde's oppression of ethnic Albanians in the then Serbia’s rebellious province.

Sánchez told reporters the heads of the European Union’s states and prime ministers discussed the Kosovo army issue upon the request by the Cyprian President Nicos Anastasiades.

Spanish Prime Minister added a joint stand of his country and other EU member states “is that that (Pristina’s moves) does not go along a path to reconciliation and the establishment of good relations between Serbia and Kosovo.”

Last week, at the NATO ministerial meeting, Spain’s Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said Madrid would demand the Alliance to stop the cooperation with Pristina authorities if they, in spite of all warnings, continued with the creation of its army.

Moscow said “Kosovo’s 'premier' (Ramush) Haradinaj, who, instructed by the US, is worsening the crisis by systematically threatening with an escalation of violence and war in the Balkans, is a proof of the unfeasibility of Kosovo’s statehood which the West stubbornly insists on.”

Russia also said that Kosovo “ is increasingly becoming the point of instability and the source of the potential conflict," and that the EU mediation in the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue had failed.

Russia, Cyprus and Spain are among the countries that have not recognised Kosovo's independence declared in 2008.

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