Kosovo: in case of embargo, Serbia is the loser

Prishtina, 28 November 2007 – After threats of the Serbian Government officials to impose an economic blockade and intersect the electricity lines in case Kosovo declares independence, kosovar media quotes experts who claim that Kosovo has a plan ready and that in case these threats realize, the loser will be Serbia. These threats did not disturb the energy officials in Kosovo. The Kosovar Transmission, System and Market Operator (KOSTT) that deals with energy distribution, stressed there are plans in place in case this happens. “The plans are with Pillar IV” (UNMIK) said Fadil Ismaili, Head of KOSTT. Ismaili did not reveal any details of these plans. He said if Serbia blocks the system in Kosovo, the entire region will be affected. Kosovo uses international inter-connection lines with Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. If Serbia blocks one of these lines, Kosovo will be able to function by using three remaining lines.

The Serbian Government also plans to block the goods import to Kosovo, even those that only pass through Serbia. The Kosovo business community reacted to this threat by saying that Kosovo will not be affected and will not lose much, but Serbia will. “If the economic embargo happens, it will find Kosovo prepared for it. By doing this the Serbian products will once and for all disappear from Kosovo,” said Agim Shahini, Head of Kosovo Business Alliance (AKB).

The declaration on an economic embargo was considered insane by the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce (KCC). “It is absurd and insane. Serbia profits hundreds of millions from Kosovo. Formally, Serbia exports goods worth €170 to €200 million to Kosovo, whereas informally the amount reaches €400 million,” said Safet Gerxhaliu from KCC.