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Kosovo hikes taxes on Serbian goods

AFP  |  Pristina 

raised taxes on Serbian goods by 10 percent on Tuesday, saying the move was in retaliation for Belgrade's efforts to thwart recognition of its former southern province.

said the tax would apply coming from excluding international brands. The measure is "a response to Serbia's savage campaign" against the international recognition of Kosovo, said

Tensions between and Kosovo, which declared independence a decade ago following a brutal separatist war, have simmered in recent months as both are under pressure to normalise relations if they are to make progress towards joining the

Serbia, with backing from and China, refuses to accept Kosovo's independence and still considers the ethnic Albanian-majority territory a renegade southern province despite its being recognised by around 115 UN members.

regularly says it has convinced various foreign nations to revoke their recognition of Kosovo, though disputes most of the claims.

"Serbia is spending huge sums to undermine the sovereignty of the state," said Hoxhaj.

Despite the disagreement over Kosovo's status, trade has continued and Serbia is its top regional trade partner. Serbia's exports to Kosovo, mainly food products, total 400 million euros annually, according to data provided to AFP by customs authorities.

Brussels-led talks between and Serbia to resolve the situation have dragged on for years, with tensions stoked by frequent tit-for-tat disputes.

Their diplomatic deadlock garnered attention in August when officials on both sides discussed the possibility of border changes as part of deal to reset ties.

Yet no concrete plan has emerged and the last scheduled meeting between their two presidents fell apart at the last minute in September.

speculated that a Serb-dominated part of Kosovo could be traded for a mostly Albanian region of

Rights groups have strongly condemned the proposal, warning that redrawing the map could have a dangerous domino effect in the fractured region.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 06 2018. 22:55 IST