World, Europe

Serbian president: Recognizing Kosovo 'matter of time'

The aim is to register Kosovo in United Nations, says President Aleksandar Vucic

Talha Ozturk   | 26.02.2020
Serbian president: Recognizing Kosovo 'matter of time'

BELGRADE, Serbia

It is only a matter of time before Serbia has to recognize Kosovo's independence, at least in practice if not officially, the Serbian president said Wednesday.

Aleksandar Vucic's remarks came soon after a ground-breaking announcement by Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti.

Kurti earlier on Wednesday said that a 100% tariff currently in place on goods from Serbia would be replaced by reciprocity measures as soon as they were worked out by Kosovo's Ministry of Economic Development.

Vucic said that after the abolition of the taxes, he expected tremendous pressure on Serbia on Kosovo joining the UN.

"Their goal is to put Kosovo in the United Nations and it is the essence of everything. That is what we should expect, the question is when it will happen, whether in three months, six months, a year, it will happen," said Vucic on the Belgrade-based O2 Television network.

In 2018, Kosovo imposed a 100% customs duty on products imported from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The move was part of efforts to bring Serbia to recognize Kosovo's independence. It marked the end of talks between the two countries initiated by the EU in 2011.

Over the past two years, Kosovo ignored repeated calls from the EU and U.S. to withdraw the tax.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Belgrade insists the country is one of its provinces.

The international community has also remained divided on recognition of Kosovo as a sovereign state.

Over 100 countries, including the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Turkey, have recognized Kosovo's independence, while those who do not include Serbia, Russia and China.

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