Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina will not participate in the meetings of CEFTA working bodies in Pristina on November 20th and 21st – Serbian Deputy Prime Minister, Rasim Ljajic said.
The two countries, as Ljajic confirmed, would also not attend a ministerial meeting during the CEFTA week, which will also take in Pristina, on December 3rd.
According to Ljajic, following his telephone conversation with his counterpart from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mirko Sarovic, the two countries made the decision not to participate.
“It is meaningless to ignore and act as if nothing has happened and that the situation is normal when it’s clear to everyone that after Kosovo imposing an additional 10% customs duty on goods from Serbia and Bosnia caused the biggest crisis since the beginning of the CEFTA”, said Ljajic.
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“Imagine the two of us – Sarovic and myself – talking about facilitating trade and removing barriers at these meetings, when we currently have to deal not with obstacles, but barricades imposed by Pristina. In addition, some Kosovo ministers are praising the fact that the volume of trade with Serbia has been halved,” he added.
Ljajic points out that the joint goal of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina is to abolish the mentioned measures imposed by the temporary institutions in Pristina and then “to start talks not only about the elimination of trade barriers but also on the essential creation of a common economic space in this part of Europe”.
Ljajić and Sarović will carry out joint activities in order to abolish the disputed fee imposed by the institutions in Pristina at the beginning of next week at a meeting in Sarajevo.
The US Ambassador to Serbia, Kyle Scott has also criticized Pristina’s decision regarding the increased customs duty and said that that was is a violation of the CEFTA agreement, while taking away the attention from the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.
“The US position is clear: import duties are a violation of the CEFTA agreement and endanger the long-term stability and prosperity of the region. No need to take the attention away from the dialogue,” Scott wrote at Twitter.
(Nova Ekonomija, Politika, 15.11.2018)
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