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.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

uncertainties-on-implementation-of-justice-agreement-09-21-2017 news 22 Sep 17 Kosovo Serb Judges Dubious About Integrated Justice System

Weeks before the justice system in Serb-run northern Kosovo is due to be integrated with the justice system in the rest of Kosovo,  Serbian judges in the north say they are still in the dark about how it will work.

kosovo-abandons-bid-to-join-interpol-this-year-09-21-2017 News 21 Sep 17 Kosovo Abandons Bid to Join Interpol This Year

Prime Minister Haradinaj says Kosovo will not get enough votes at this year’s Interpol assembly, held in the unfriendly environment of China.

haradinaj-has-been-useful-enemy-for-serbia-s-leader-09-20-2017 Comment 20 Sep 17 Haradinaj Has Been Useful Enemy for Serbia’s Leader

Only Aleksandar Vucic could pull off the trick of making political capital out of denouncing Ramush Haradinaj’s ‘crimes’ – before then instructing his clients in Kosovo to make him Prime Minister.

serbian-movie-about-kosovo-sparks-new-tensions-09-18-2017 News 18 Sep 17 Kosovo Slates Serbian Film Attacking its UNESCO Bid

The Kosovo prime minister's office has condemned a Serbian documentary film that attacks Pristina's bid to join the UN cutural body UNESCO as offensive.

serbia-s-arrest-warrant-against-haradinaj-still-in-place-09-11-2017 News 12 Sep 17 Serbia Still Seeking Arrest of Kosovo PM Haradinaj

Although Ramush Haradinaj has become Kosovo’s prime minister, the warrant that Serbia issued for his arrest on war crimes charges will remain in force, which may cause him travel problems.

serbian-public-divided-over-the-lista-srpska-decision-09-08-2017 News 08 Sep 17 Prospect of Haradinaj Running Kosovo Divides Serbia

The decision of the main Serb party in Kosovo to support the election of a new speaker - which will probably lead to former guerrilla leader Ramush Haradinaj becoming Kosovo's new prime minister - has shocked some in Serbia.

new-report-proposes-more-robust-role-of-eu-usa-in-serbia-kosovo-dialogue-09-05-2017 News 05 Sep 17 Serbia Must Recognise Kosovo, US Experts Insist

A review of the EU-mediated Belgrade-Pristina dialogue by experts at Columbia University recommends that Brussels and Washington take action to enforce all agreements - and insists Serbia must recognise Kosovo.

kosovo-serbia-pledge-to-implement-justice-agreement-08-31-2017 News 31 Aug 17 Kosovo, Serbia Leaders Pledge to Honour Justice Deal

The Serbian and Kosovo Presidents have promised to implement an EU-mediated justice agreement by October after meeting EU foreign policy chief Mogherini in Brussels.

albin-kurti-kosovo-serbia-dialogue-is-dead--08-29-2017 Interview 29 Aug 17 Albin Kurti: Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue is ‘Dead’

The opposition Vetevendosje candidate for Kosovo prime minister, Albin Kurti, told BIRN that EU-sponsored talks between Pristina and Belgrade have ‘failed’ and should not continue.

mogherini-to-host-new-meeting-with-serbian-and-kosovo-presidents-08-28-2017 News 28 Aug 17 Mogherini to Host New Thaci, Vucic Meeting

The EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, will host a new meeting with the presidents of Kosovo and Serbia on Thursday.