US Senator Chris Murphy believes that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is willing to recognize Kosovo but is angry over the 100 percent tariffs imposed by Pristina on goods from Serbia.
Writing on his blog about his recent visit to Belgrade with Republican Senator Ron Johnson, the Democratic senator from Connecticut said: “We both believe that he (Vucic) is willing to strike a deal with Kosovo to recognize their independence, but right now, he is mad as a hornet over the 100% tariff. We both press him to get back to the negotiating table as soon as possible, and he says that as soon as the tariff is lifted, he is ready to talk again.”
The senator says he was told by officials of the US embassy in Pristina the tariffs have badly hurt Kosovo’s fragile economy. Murphy said the visit to Serbia by the two senators lasted just a few hours but is important “because the Trump Administration gives little attention to the still simmering conflicts in the Balkans”.
“Our visits to places like Belgrade and Pristina are the highest-level American delegations these countries are likely to receive during Trump’s tenure. And especially in a place like Serbia, which also has strong relations with Russia, it’s important for Americans to keep showing up so that we keep our relationship alive,” he wrote, adding that “the visit ended with a very well attended press conference with Vucic, where we all reaffirm the importance of the US-Serbia relationship”.