Kosovo warns Serbia of retaliating products ban

The U.N. administration handed customs to Kosovo authorities in early December.

Kosovo warns Serbia of retaliating products ban

Kosovo threatened on Tuesday to ban products coming from Serbia if Belgrade does not reverse its policy of blocking goods that carry a customs stamp from its former province.

Since early December, Serbia did not allow in products with labels reading "Customs of Kosovo" because Serbia insists on not recognizing Kosovo institutions and still considers it part of its territory. Kosovo declared independence in February.

"If this continues we will introduce the same measures as Serbia," Kosovo's Trade Minister Lutfi Zharku told Reuters on Tuesday. "I am afraid that we may be in the situation to stop trade of all goods coming from Serbia, as an ultimate measure."

The U.N. administration handed customs to Kosovo authorities in early December.

The biggest border crossing between Serbia and Kosovo is Merdare, known to Albanians as Gate 3. More than 80 trucks loaded with food and building materials enter Kosovo every day there from European Union countries and Serbia.

Kosovo government officials called on business people to find alternative sources of supplies because a ban for products coming from Serbia and Bosnia could be imminent.

But Serbia's pro-Western government ruled out any change.

"We cannot accept the label with word Kosovo written on it," said Oliver Ivanovic, State Secretary in Serbia's Kosovo ministry.


Reuters

Last Mod: 24 Aralık 2008, 15:52
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