High Representative of the European Union Federica Mogherini said that the EU requests that the government of Pristina abolish taxes of 100 percent on imports from Serbia; she pointed out that EU and NATO share the stance regarding the setting up of a Kosovo* security forces must be a gradual and inclusive process in line with the Constitution, warning that “an alternative to the dialogue would be dangerous.”
Mogherini said this during a joint press conference with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, following the meeting of the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Council, and underlined that ”there is no alternative to the dialogue,” as any other scenario would mean putting everyone in danger.
She stated that introducing taxes of 100 percent on Serbian imports is a “clear violation of the CEFTA agreement and the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Kosovo, adding that that was in “the real interest of Kosovo”, and that she and European commissioners Johannes Hahn and Cecilia Malmström offered a solution to the problem to Pristina.
Serbian Prime Minister stressed that EU membership is the strategic goal of Serbia and that the government is, thanks to tangible improvement in implementing the reforms in the rule of law and media freedom, ready for a dialogue with Pristina, but she warned that the recent moves of Pristina authorities “are the greatest threat to regional stability and peace.”
Brnabic reminded of the fact that Serbia fulfilled all of the agreements in the dialogue, while Pristina authorities have not made any progress in implementing key provisions of the Brussels Agreement, i.e. the establishment of the Community of Serb municipalities, for more than 5 years.
She said that it is unacceptable that Pristina insist on extorting its membership in international organisations while the dialogue still lasts, considering that Serbia, contrary to all logic, has no right to put a stop to it.
High Representative Mogherini pointed out that she believes that the Serbia’s EU membership negotiations could proceed even faster, but she underlined that it is important that Belgrade authorities improve the implementation of reforms in rule of law, election system and freedom of expression.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.