Hashim Thaci, Kosovo’s head of state, said Pristina should not imagine it was the centre of the world and asked “where would we be without the US,” the Beta news agency reported on Tuesday.
He added that Kosovo should not imperil its strategic partnership with the United States.
“No one could ever think Pristina could ignore Washington’s advice. Kosovo is a state in the process of an internal and external consolidation which has no luxury of saying “no” to the United States,” Thaci told the Report TV, as carried by the RTK in Serbian.
He said the 100 percent import tariffs on goods from Serbia (and Bosnia) should be abolished, adding that in spite of the measure being in place, the products from Serbia were smuggled to Kosovo from Macedonia and Montenegro.
Pristina introduced the taxes last November, and despite Thaci‘s call and repeated demands from both the US and the European Union, Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj rejected to revoke the decision, conditioning it to Belgarde's recognition of Kosovo's independence.
On Monday, Haradinaj said Kosovo did not need Serbia’s recognition if that meant giving up territory, after the idea on a boundary between Belgrade and Pristina appeared as a legitimate topic.
It seems the two highest Kosovo officials are seriously at odds.
It started with Thaci's suggestion on border correction which would include the annexation of a part of southern Serbia mostly populated with local Albanians. Though Thaci denied any possibility of giving anything in return to Belgrade, Haradinaj refused the idea, saying such a move could only lead to new catastrophe.
The disagreements continued over taxes. And while the analysts say Haradinaj is extremely popular at home, Thaci seems to enjoy the international support since he and Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic headed the EU-facilitated Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on normalisation of relations and the EU would not like to have other politicians taking over the negotiations.
The dialogue has been on hold for months, following the introduction of tariffs, and both Belgrade and Brussels said it would resume the day after the measure was suspended or annulled.
A Kosovo official accused the EU diplomacy chief and the dialogue mediator Federica Mogherini of siding with Belgrade, while Serbia’s authorities said Kosovo had the EU and US support in whatever it did.