Serbia is considering possible arbitration because of Pristina’s violation of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Thursday.
“At this moment, that is the only way to protect Serbia’s interests and have everyone who signed the agreement face the consequences in line with the agreement they had signed,” she told reporters at the 2nd Digital Summit in Belgrade.
She said that Serbia was waiting for the CEFTA Secretariat to react to Pristina’s decision to impose 100 per cent tariff on goods from Serbia last November, adding that the reaction she hoped for did not happen.
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“We called on Pristina to cease the violation of CEFTA and withdraw its tax, but that did not happen,” she said, adding that the Serbian authorities were now considering starting arbitration.
Belgrade’s daily, the Vecernje Novosti reports that Serbia complained to the CEFTA Secretariat on February 25, which was 90 days ago, with a request for the Secretariat to have direct consultations within the Joint Committee.
The daily also reports that apart from domestic legal experts, the Serbian government contacted foreign experts so that Belgrade could properly prepare its strategy in case it decides in favour of arbitration.
Brnabic said Pristina’s decision was detrimental for regional cooperation, adding that Belgrade thought hard about signing the regional agreement to cut roaming charges because it was not sure if Pristina would not break it.
She said there no part of the region could be considered stable unless the entire region is stable. According to the prime minister, Serbia will invest however much time, energy and political capital is needed to achieve a stable, predictable, prosperous and safe region.
This post is also available in: Italiano