Serbia’s exports to Kosovo have dropped by 90 million Euros in the past three months since Pristina introduced 100 percent tariffs on goods from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Trade Minister Rasim Ljajic said on Monday.
The minister told the pro-government TV Pink that there is increasing talk of the tariffs as an unsolvable political issue, adding that they are stopping the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and inflicting economic damage which could leave consequences.
According to the minister, the Serbian government will have exact figures on the drop in exports to Kosovo by February 21. “To date, in these 80 days some 90 million Euros less have been exported to Kosovo than in the same period of last year,” he said.
Ljajic said there are Serbian goods in stores owned by Albanians. He suspects that the goods are exported to Montenegro, Croatia and Macedonia before being brought to Kosovo.
The minister said the economic damage is obvious. “The tariffs have primarily caused a serious political crisis in Kosovo and we do not know whether the tariffs will be revoked or if Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj’s government will fall and that is the crucial issue at this time,” he said and added that Haradinaj is refusing to revoke them because he will loose the trust of the electorate.