President of Serbia said on Wednesday that alternate routes are used by Serbia for sending goods to Serb-dominated northern Kosovo for avoiding having to pay a 100 percent import tax. The comments were passed to further straining ties between Pristina and Belgrade.
Kosovo, which is a former Serbian province whose independence is refused by Belgrade to recognize the imposed the tax last year as a revengeful measure after it was blocked by Serbia to join the international police agency Interpol as a separate nation.
The tax has caused trouble for the 4 ethnic Serb municipalities in northern Kosovo who pledge loyalty to Belgrade and openly challenge the Pristina authorities. Different business and shops in the area were shut down from Monday till Wednesday as a way to protest over the tax.
Due to the tax, there is also a deadlock in the talks between Serbia and majority of the Albanian Kosovo on normalizing the ties which are a vital precondition for both countries for achieving the goals of 1 day joining the European Union.
President of Serbia ‘Aleksandar Vucic’ told the reporters on Wednesday that Serbia would be continuing to send supply trucks by means of alternative mountain roads often taken by smugglers to get goods to its ethnic kin until the scrapping away of tax.
He said that they will do whatever they can fro bring the water, food, and medicines to the people even if in the attempt of doing so he becomes a notorious European Robin Hood, that crazy Vucic who sends water and food from the forest.
Exports of Serbia to Kosovo mount up to 500M euros annually. Kosovo also imports from the neighbors: Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania. Government of Kosovo told that the goods coming from Serbia have been replaced by the imports from somewhere else in the late months.