MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has called on the Kosovo authorities to abandon discriminatory duties on Serbian-made commodities.
"We insist that the anti-Serbian measures of the Kosovo authorities be lifted totally and unconditionally," the ministry said on Monday.
According to the ministry, Pristina keeps on manipulating the topic of the abandonment of 100-percent discriminative duties on goods from central Serbia that were imposed in November 2018 and that "have provoked a paralysis in the Kosovo settlement process."
"Yet another demagogical gesture," the ministry noted, was the lifting of the protective tariffs from April 1, which was announced by Kosovo’s Acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti who set a lot of conditions for this "as a matter of fact temporary" solution. Thus, the Kosovo administration insists on the reciprocity principle demanding Belgrade mark its products under the Pristina standards. "In other words, it insists Belgrade mention in its documents the very name of the self-proclaimed ‘Republic of Kosovo,’ which would mean implicit recognition of this quasi-state," the ministry explained.
"It means that the Kosovars have actually toughened their demands rather than mitigating their position as their Western patrons insisted. Notably, even Washington, which has been unconditionally supporting Kosovo’s ‘independence,’ was negative about Pristina’s new tricks geared to protract resumption of dialogue with Belgrade," the ministry stressed. "This said, the European Union’s bravura reaction looks strange as it is supposed to be realistic about the situation and not to play into the hands of one of the parties."
Pristina imposed 10-percent customs duties on Serbian goods in November 2018, which sparked a backlash from Belgrade. Several days later, Kosovo raised customs duties on commodities from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina to 100% triggering a freeze in dialogue with Belgrade. Serbia’s losses from this move exceed one million euro a day.