Belgrade loses 500 mill Euros due to Pristina taxes, Minister says

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Source: N1 (arhiva)

The short-term losses due to the 100 percent import tariffs Kosovo introduced on goods from Serbia last November is about 500 million Euros, Trade Minister has said, the Beta news agency reported on Monday.

Rasim Ljajic told the Pink TV, close to Serbia’s authorities, that in 2018 Belgrade exported 440 million Euros worth of goods to Kosovo, and that this year the damage to the country’s export could reach half of billion Euros.

 „The European Union and the US have both the stick and the carrot,“ Ljajic said, adding the two could pressure Kosovo more to revoke the decision on taxes and implement what had been agreed so far in the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on normalisation of relations under the EU auspices.

He said that tariffs completely blocked the political dialogue.

„It would be senseless for us to talk about a political solution while someone is not capable of lifting the taxes,“ Ljajic said.

Pristina has been saying the introduction of tariffs was the only move it had to respond to „Belgrade aggressive anti-Kosovo campaign.“

The decision was brought after Kosovo was not admitted to Interpol and blamed Serbia for lobbying against its membership.

Kosovo leaders refuse to even suspend the taxes despite being asked to do that by both Washington and Brussels, while Serbia’s authorities say the dialogue cannot resume while the tariffs are in place.