The issue of Trepca mine, located north-east from Kosovska Mitrovica, should be resolved in line with the legally binding agreement on the overall normalization of the relations between Belgrade and Pristina – Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative, said on Tuesday.
She pointed out that the EU, as a mediator in the dialogue, aimed to resolve all open issues between the two sides once and for all.
However, the Prime Minister Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj reiterated on Tuesday that the mine would not be discussed during the dialogue. He called Kocijancic’s statement inadmissible, arguing that “the EU lost its way in its own back yard” and “has violated the sovereignty of Kosovo”.
The statement that the Kosovo government released on Tuesday said that an EU spokeswoman’s remarks, given to the Tanjug news agency, that the Trepca complex should be included in the talks are “unprecedented, unacceptable and thus violating the sovereignty of the state of Kosovo.”
The government said it was a “false issue that clearly aims at Kosovo division.”
Trepca, with Europe’s largest lead-zinc and silver ore mine, is 50 kilometres north of the capital Pristina, where most of the ethnic Serb minority lives.
A new round of the dialogue at the highest level is not anticipated soon. In fact, Brussels cannot force Pristina to abolish taxes and continue the negotiations.
That tensions between Belgrade and Pristina continued to grow and negatively affect the possibility of a productive dialogue – it was noted in the new quarterly report on Kosovo, compiled by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. He stated the introduction of a 100% tax on Serbian products as the biggest problem. The report was submitted to the ambassadors of the UN Security Council members, but it is not yet known whether the Kosovo will be discussed at the Council’s next session.
(Vecernje Novosti, 05.02.2019)
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