A Conference on Kosova and the Conditions to Suspend the Tariff against Serbian Goods

A comprehensive and legally binding agreement between Kosova and Serbia can be concluded in 2019

 

By Ramush Haradinaj, Prime Minister of Kosova

Following the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that Kosova’s Declaration of Independence in 2008 was not unlawful, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 64/298 (2010), which acknowledged the content of the ICJ opinion and welcomed ‘the readiness of the European Union to facilitate a process of dialogue between the parties’.

It is our strongly held view that a comprehensive and legally binding agreement between Kosova and Serbia can be concluded in 2019, which will address all outstanding issues including war reparations, the rights of minorities in both countries, as well as various economic, social and cultural matters – leading to mutual recognition and Kosova’s membership of the United Nations.

On 21st November 2018 the Government of Kosova imposed a tariff of 100% (‘the Tariff’) on the importation of goods originating in Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. The tariff is a response to continuing and persistent violation of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) and continuing and persistent acts of aggression intended to undermine the state of Kosova.

The Government of Kosova will suspend the tariff immediately on the coming into existence of all of the following circumstances:

The United States of America (USA) and the European Union (EU) having taken practical steps to initiate and support an international conference (‘the Conference’) for the purpose of concluding a legally binding comprehensive agreement between Kosova and Serbia to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries – the conference to commence at the earliest practical date following the coming into existence of the all of the circumstances described in paragraphs 2 to 5 below, and to conclude within 14 days:

The USA and the EU having given public commitments and assurances that the Conference will not countenance:

Any redrawing of the current borders of Kosova, or partition of Kosova, or land swaps of any nature whatsoever.

The granting of executive powers to any form of association of Serb Municipalities in Kosova or any other arrangement that violates the Constitution of Kosova.

Measures of any nature based on concessions that pre-date 17th February 2008.

The EU having given additional public commitments and assurances that:

A visa free travel regime for citizens of the Republic of Kosova will be in force prior to the commencement of the Conference.

The Energy Agreement concluded in Brussels between Kosova and Serbia on shall be implemented and fully operational prior to the commencement of the Conference

Serbia having verifiably removed all non-tariff barriers imposed on the movement of goods from Kosova as well as all unlawful restrictions on trade in services and movements of people from Kosova to Serbia.

The Serbian President, Prime-Minister or Foreign Minister having publicly confirmed that all policies and actions of any nature directed against the aspirations of Kosova as a sovereign state whether applying locally, regionally or internationally have ceased permanently.

The Tariff will be immediately re-imposed if the Conference does not conclude with a binding comprehensive agreement between Kosova and Serbia which provides, inter alia, for mutual recognition and for Kosova’s membership of the United Nations. The Tariff will be re-imposed at a later date if there is failure of implementation of a binding comprehensive agreement arising from the Conference.

 

(This text was sent to the Ambassadors of the so-called Quint and EU)

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