Announcement of further violations of the CEFTA agreement: Brnabic comments on Kurti's plans
Brnabic told reporters in Belgrade that everything related to mutual trade cooperation in the Balkans is clearly defined by the CEFTA agreement and the annexes it contains
Albin Kurti's statement that if he becomes prime minister of the so-called Kosovo government, he would introduce reciprocity with Serbia, both economically and politically, is another announcement of a further violation of the CEFTA agreement, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said today.
Brnabic told reporters in Belgrade that everything related to mutual trade cooperation in the Balkans is clearly defined by the CEFTA agreement and the annexes it contains.
"We will not be violating the CEFTA agreement if they do what they are announcing, whether or not they abolish the 100 percent tax on (goods from) Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nothing in particular will change. They will continue to breach the CEFTA agreement, as well as the Stabilization and Association Agreement they have with the EU," said Brnabic.
The PM urged all Albanian politicians in Pristina to rethink violating international agreements, because, as she says, the only thing they will gain is being told by the international community that they are the only obstacle to free trade in the Balkans.
"My message is, please, look at the CEFTA agreement signed in 2006 and stick to it," she said.
Stating that Kurti is in this way also announcing prevention of free movement of people, Brnabic said that several years ago, Belgrade and President Aleksandar Vucic called for the creation of "a mini-Schengen" providing the entire Western Balkans a direction it should move in, which would also mean both people and the economy.
Brnabic said this was confirmed yesterday by the signing of the Declaration with North Macedonia and Albania, and she hopes that the rest of the region will join the declaration.
"It's best for people, whether they are Albanians, Serbs, Macedonians. That's completely irrelevant. This is the only way for young people to stay here, and if Kurti or anyone else in Pristina wants to drive the youth away from of here, then they are on the right track," said Brnabic.
Brnabic: Rama's position is well-known, it's bad that Kurti wants to change everything
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic says Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama's statement that he expects a continuation of the dialogue that will lead to Serbia's recognition of Kosovo's independence is his opinion that has been heard before, and that this is known to be his position.
Brnabic told reporters in Belgrade that she hoped for the continuation of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, and stressed that this would only be possible once the taxes on goods from central Serbia are abolished and all regional agreements respected.
Asked to comment on Kurti's announcements that he would head the dialogue when he becomes prime minister, and whether she expects a format change, Brnabic said that the dialogue format was determined by the EU as the mediator and that it would depend on them, while Belgrade will certainly have a say.
"I'm not sure that it's encouraging to me that Kurti is coming and suddenly wants to change everything without consulting anyone," said Brnabic.
Stating that special US envoy Richard Grenell said yesterday that it was necessary to focus on the economy, because if the economic situation is good it would be easier to discuss political issues, Brnabic said that Albanian politicians today announced moves that are completely opposite.
She said that she yesterday informed Grenell that Belgrade never stopped economic cooperation even in the most difficult political circumstances, noting that this was not done in 2004 after the March pogrom, nor in 2008 when Pristina declared independence, nor when Pristina's authorities arrested and mistreated Marko Djuric.
"We have always said that when politicians have a difficult time talking, the economy should lead and we will follow," said Brnabic.