Home Page
News 16 Jan 13

Kosovo-Serbia Border Talks in Stalemate

EU-led talks between Belgrade and Pristina ended on Tuesday without much progress on a recent border management deal.

Marija Ristic BIRN Belgrade

Talks on implementing the "Integrated Border Management Agreement" and preparing for the next round of the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia on January 17 ended inconclusively on Tuesday.

Following a meeting of the two working groups, led by Serbia's Dejan Pavicevic and his Kosovo counterpart, Edita Tahira, neither side issued a statement.

“The meeting will continue tomorrow,” Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson of the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, explained.

One EU senior officer told Balkan Insight that the talks had ended in near-deadlock, as both sides still had different ideas about the IBM deal.

Prime Ministers Hashim Thaci and Ivica Dacic agreed to implement the border deal, concluded at the end of 2011, on December 4, 2012.

On December 10, 2012, Kosovo and Serbia started to implement the deal at the crossing points in Merdare and Jarinje, and from December 31 at the crossing points of Brnjak and Dheu i Bardhe.

The main point of the deal is that customs officials from both sides operate under one roof. But disagreements continue.

Belgrade insists that the agreement permits excise goods up to 3.5 tons, and all non-excise goods intended for Serb-run northern Kosovo, to enter Kosovo from Serbia duty-free.

The authorities in Pristina claim the opposite, saying that taxes must be paid on all incoming goods.

Locals in Serb-run northern Kosovo strongly oppose the idea of having to pay customs on goods coming from Serbia.

Some meanwhile have complained that the head of the Serbian working group in the talks has not been sufficiently aggressive in defending their interests.

Kosovo Serb leaders in an open letter on Tuesday said that “the way that Pavicevic is leading the customs negotiations is not a good way”.

In the open letter to the Serbian government, they asked to be included in the Serbian VAT system, rejecting the possibility of paying customs on the border crossings at Jarinje and Brnjak.

The EU-led dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia was launched in March 2011 in order to normalize relations between the parties, both of which seek European integration.

Serbia says it will never recognise the independence of Kosovo, proclaimed in 2008, but is open to talks on improving people's lives on both sides of the border.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

one-kosovo-albanian-killed-two-wounded-in-kosovo-north News 29 Aug 14 Man Shot Dead in Woods in Northern Kosovo

A Kosovo Albanian has been killed and two others were wounded in the forests in Kosovo, allegedly by a person in a Serbian army uniform.

kosovo-serbs-condemn-albanian-protest News 29 Aug 14 Kosovo Protesters Stop Serbs From Attending Church

Several hundred Kosovo Albanians protesting about missing persons from the conflict of the 1990s prevented a busload of Serbs from attending a church service in western Kosovo.

kosovo-serbia-readies-to-build-joint-border-crossings News 26 Aug 14 Kosovo Optimistic About Joint Border Crossings

Kosovo's Deputy Prime Minister has predicted that joint border controls with Serbia, in line with the agreement on Integrated Border Management, will soon be up and running.

ivanovic-to-apear-before-kosovo-court-on-august-26 News 18 Aug 14 Kosovo Serb Leader Awaits War Crimes, Murder Trial

Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic will go on trial on August 26 for war crimes during the Kosovo conflict as well as committing murder during clashes that erupted afterwards.

serbia-kosovo-intepret-deal-on-mitrovica-bridge-differently news 23 Jul 14 Serbia, Kosovo Far Apart on Mitrovica Bridge Deal

EU-led talks on the controversial 'Peace Park erected in the divided northern Kosovo town of Mitrovica have ended with widely differing versions of what was agreed in Brussels.

kosovo-announces-fresh-recognitions News 22 Jul 14 Kosovo Says More Recognitions Are in Sight

Kosovo minister say two more states plan to recognise its statehood by September, though neither country has been named and such predictions have proved false in the past.

kosovo-serbs-threaten-with-massive-quits-from-kosovo-institutions news 21 Jul 14 Kosovo Serbs Threaten to Quit Pristina's Institutions

Local leaders in the Serb-run north of Kosovo are threatening a collective resignation from Pristina-led institutions unless arrested Serbs are freed ahead of their trials.

serbian-politician-banned-from-entering-kosovo News 01 Jul 14 Serbian Politician Banned from Entering Kosovo

Marko Djuric, director of the Serbian government’s office for Kosovo, was denied entry by police at the Jarinje border crossing who said he did not have the right permit from Pristina.

vetevendosje-insists-in-changing-kosovo-serbia-dialogue News 26 Jun 14 Kosovo Nationalists Demand End to Serbia Talks

As a condition for supporting an opposition coalition seeking to form a government after recent polls, the nationalist Vetevendosje Movement wants EU-backed dialogue with Belgrade to stop.

kosovo-serb-leaders-decided-to-participate-in-election News 04 Jun 14 Serb Leaders End Prevarication Over Kosovo Election

After talks with the Serbian government, the Srpska List has finally called on Kosovo Serbs to vote on Sunday - regardless of the ongoing dispute over ballots.