Kosovo politician and most likely candidate for prime minister Albin Kurti said on Thursday that the Serb community should stand by moderate politicians even though they are under pressure form so-called parallel institutions.
“I am aware of the pressure that the Serbs are experiencing from Serbia’s parallel structures in Kosovo, including the Serb List but the Serb community should find the strength to re-align themselves with moderate Serb parties and politicians,” the Vetevendosje (self-determination) party leader told Belgrade weekly NIN, adding that the Kosovo Serbs would be voting for their future, for integration, development and full civil rights if they backed parties like Slobodan Petrovic’s Serb Liberal Parties or Nenad Rasic’s Progressive Democratic Party.
“We don’t know what the Serbs in northern Kosovo think and want because the parallel structures aren’t allowing them to think and allowing us to hear them,” Kurti said, adding that he is willing to hear civil rights demands but not “Belgrade’s appetite for territories”.
He said the Community of Serb Municipalities (CSM) is “just words on paper” because the Kosovo Constitutional Court ruled in December 2015 that it was in violation of the constitution. “None of the Kosovo Serbs protested that decision, only Belgrade did,” he said.
Kurti said that his government would revoke the 100 percent tariffs on goods from Serbia and establish reciprocity with Serbia. “If goods with the declaration Republic of Kosovo can’t enter Serbia, Serbian goods can’t enter Kosovo, he said. Kurti said that Serbia’s efforts to prevent Kosovo from joining international organizations led to the tariffs being imposed. “We have to let the Serbian leadership know that this behavior can’t lead to new negotiations, let alone an agreement or truce… We need an official statement from Serbia that it won’t prevent Kosovo from joining international organizations,” he said.