Serbia's Minister: Belgrade can't retaliate to Pristina

Source: N1

Rasim Ljajic, Serbia’s Minister of Trade, said on Thursday Belgrade could not introduce the retaliatory measures to Kosovo’s higher taxes introduced ten days ago, since Serbia’s import from there was insignificant, the FoNet news agency reported.

Ljajic told the Danas daily that apart from some fruit and vegetables, Serbia did not buy anything from Kosovo.

The Kosovo government decided to raise import taxes on goods from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina on November 6 in response to what it felt was Serbia’s destructive behaviour.

The next day, the European Union said Pristina’s decision was unexpected and the bloc demanded an immediate explanation and annulment of the move wich violated the CEFTA agreement.

Pristina said it would not revoke the decision.

On Thursday, Ljajic said, “the only way is to make a deal with Bosnia and Herzegovina to put pressure on the European Commission (EC).”

He added that the higher import taxes were most probably a part of an internal conflict between Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci who was against the measure and the Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj who said the taxes could be even higher.

Ljajic said it could also be a result of pressure from some lobbies who would like to eliminate the competition.