Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic called on Pristina today to show a complaint it allegedly sent to the CEFTA Committee which states that Serbia has violated the trade agreement.
Also, following the statements made by the Albanian PM, Edi Rama in Zagreb, she said that she expected a different reaction from him.
“If there is no any complaint, then Edi Rama consciously and deliberately misled the public in the region while accusing Serbia of violating the CEFTA,” Brnabic said, commenting on Rama’s statement in Zagreb about Belgrade’s violation of the regional trade agreement and Kosovo’s complaint to CEFTA about it.
Brnabic also said she agreed with Rama who admitted that “the 100 per cent increase of the import tariffs (on goods from Serbia and Bosnia) was not normal,” adding she was “naive” in believing that he would call on Pristina to revoke the decision.
The prime minister went on to say that her first thought was that Pristina “should have agreed on what their official explanation for the introduction of the (100 per cent) tax on products from central Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina would be, and then stick to that explanation, instead of changing it every week.”
She recalled that the first explanation was that the tax was the answer to Serbia preventing Kosovo from joining Interpol.
“I think we have all heard that both Serbia and other countries, the EU and the international community,” the prime minister said.
But, according to her, “when they (Pristina) saw this made no sense and was not holding water” they changed the explanation into accusing Serbia of having violated the CEFTA agreement.
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“Let’s agree on why the taxes have been imposed so that we can respond to it. Is it because of Interpol, or because the CEFTA agreement has been violated by Serbia?” Brnabic asked.
She added that she found it incredible that Edi Rama “went a step further to say that Pristina had complained about the violation by Serbia, but received no reaction from the other side.”
“If Pristina did complain, please show us this complaint. This is the black and situation white, there is no grey zone,” Brnabic pointed out, stressing that the CEFTA agreement was clear and unambiguous and that there is an official formal complaint process.
The prime minister also said that Serbia complained (about Pristina’s taxes) on November 27 by sending an official request to the CEFTA Secretariat.
Commenting on the news that the Blair Institute (established by the former UK prime minister) is seeking to hire a senior advisor for a Belgrade posting, to ‘work closely and advise’ top officials on governance issues, Brnabic said that that was an earlier arrangement called “the delivery unit” and underlined that those services were not paid from the state budget.
Brnabic said that the first unofficial meeting with the representatives of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), which represents Kosovo in CEFTA, was held on Tuesday, with the topic being Pristina raising the customs duty. The PM added that the next step for Serbia would be to set a new date for the first official meeting, which she would do in the next 24 hours.
This post is also available in: Italiano