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EU calls Kosovo to revoke import tax on Serbia, Bosnia goods

Reuters  |  LONDON 

By Bytyci

LONDON (Reuters) - The called on on Wednesday to revoke its decision to impose an import tax on goods coming from and Bosnia, a move that is likely to further sour relations between and

said on Monday it was imposing an import tax of 10 percent on all goods produced in and Bosnia but not on international brands. said the move was aimed at "protecting local goods".

Bosnia, and along with Albania, Montenegro, are all part of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) set up to help ex-communist states harmonise their with demands.

"The EU is seeking urgent clarifications about the unexpected decision by the Kosovo government," said Maja Kocijancic, the of the EU's

"These measures are a clear violation of Kosovo's obligations under CEFTA," she said. "This decision undermines regional cooperation."

Balkan countries have used trade barriers in the past over political disagreements, and Bosnia and Serbia halted all imports from Kosovo when it declared independence in 2008.

That ban was only lifted in 2011 when the government in introduced retaliatory measures against the two countries that still refuse to recognise Kosovo as an independent state.

Serbia's said talks on Thursday with his Kosovo counterpart and EU officials in Brussels, aimed at normalising ties, would be very difficult.

"One cannot act as a drunkard in an airplane ... , someone has to say when enough is enough," the agency quoted Vucic as saying.

The EU has made the condition of Serbia and Kosovo normalising their relations crucial for advancing towards membership in the bloc. The two countries agreed in 2013 to resolve pending issues but have made little progress since.

Kosovo, whose population of 1.8 million is mainly ethnic Albanian, declared independence from in 2008, a decade after NATO bombed rump-to end the killing of Albanian civilians by Serb forces during a two-year insurgency.

It is now recognised by more than 110 nations but not by Serbia, or five EU states. and have blocked Kosovo from joining the

(Reporting by Bytyci; Additional reporting by in Belgrade; Editing by Alison Williams)

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

First Published: Wed, November 07 2018. 23:20 IST
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