Leader of Kosovo: Serbia is a mini-Russia in the Balkans

Pristina will maintain the 100% tariffs on goods from Serbia until Belgrade decides to recognize its independence, promised Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj. 

During a press conference on the results of 2018, Haradinaj called Serbia a “small Russia in the Balkans” and urged it to change its policy to comply with European and American standards. 

“If Serbia does not change, the tariffs will remain forever. If Serbia wants to reach an agreement on mutual recognition and acts in accordance with American standards in the Balkans, we will revoke the tariffs today. Serbia is a ‘mini-Russia’ in the Balkans,” the Serbian TV channel RTS cited Haradinaj as saying. 

The prime minister added that by opening the Kosovo market to products from Serbia, Pristina gave Belgrade the opportunity to spend “hundreds of millions of dollars on arms from Russia”. 

Haradinaj did not give a direct answer when asked whether he is still opposed to the idea of correcting the borders between Kosovo and Serbia. He said that Pristina has chosen a team of negotiators to renew the dialog with Belgrade, which has not been easy. The government in Pristina now intends to focus on the economy. 

In November 2018, Pristina imposed 100% tariffs on goods from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have not recognized the republic’s independence. Belgrade responded by stopping the dialog on the “complete normalization of relations” with Pristina that had been taking place with EU mediation.

  Kosovo, Russia, Ramush Haradinaj, Serbia, Balkans