By Petrit Collaku
The prime minister of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, has reiterated his stance on a trade ban imposed last month blocking goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina from entering the country.
Following a meeting with the EU’s mediator for Serbia and Kosovo, Robert Cooper, Thaci issued a statement to the press standing by the trade blockade his government had imposed.
“The State of Kosovo has presented a clear stance in its meeting with Robert Cooper. Even after new developments, Kosovo will not return to the situation it was in before 25 July and before the decision on measures of [trade] reciprocity. There is no going back to the status quo,” he said.
He added: “We just have to exercise our constitutional right to establish reciprocity and full control of border by the Kosovo Police and Customs of Kosovo”.
He added that the government was continuing to work towards European integration and was committed to helping all citizens in Kosovo. “The government of Kosovo will be in support of all citizens of the country, throughout the country,” Thaci added.
Tension began at the country’s northern borders following a decision by the Kosovan government to enforce a ban on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kosovo special police took over two checkpoints to enforce the order. This came in response to both countries refusing to recognise Kosovo’s customs stamps during a dialogue process in Brussels.
The EU’s chief of foreign policy, Catherine Ashton has called on both parties to avoid the tensions and return to the dialogue.
In meantime, two border crossings in the northern part of Kosovo remain open for small vehicles and busses but no truck carrying goods are allowed to enter Kosovo.