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U.S. Envoy Urges Kosovo To Drop Tariffs On Serbian Goods 'With No Reciprocity'


U.S. special envoy for Serbia and Kosovo Richard Grenell
U.S. special envoy for Serbia and Kosovo Richard Grenell

The U.S. special envoy for Serbia and Kosovo, Richard Grenell, has urged Kosovo to drop tariffs on Serbian goods without introducing measures of "reciprocity" in trade, politics, and economy, his press officer told RFE/RL.

"The ambassador is pushing for them to drop the tariffs with no reciprocity. So, Kosovo should drop the tariffs on Serbian goods, and not implement reciprocity. So, no reciprocal measures. Not just suspend the tariffs but drop them entirely," Dick Custin said in a February 10 statement.

The call by Grenell, who also serves as U.S. President Donald Trump's ambassador to Germany, comes amid an international push for the two countries to establish diplomatic relations.

In reaction to Grenell's call, Deputy Prime Minister Haki Abazi told RFE/RL that the government's position was that Serbia must stop "sabotaging" Kosovo statehood.

"Reciprocity is a set of measures applied in international relations and this is a pragmatic approach, while on the Serbian side a commitment and a statement of stopping the campaign against new recognitions [of Kosovo's independence] and sabotaging Kosovo's statehood are expected."

Kosovo, a former Serbian province, unilaterally declared independence in 2008. The move has been recognized by more than 110 countries but not by Serbia.

Both the European Union and United States have made reconciliation between the two countries a priority, saying it was key to economic development. But dialogue is stalled in part over Pristina's imposition of the 100 percent tariffs in 2018.