Kosovo warns of trade ban on Serbia, Bosnia

Prishtina, Dec 22, 2008 – Kosovo’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Lutfi Zharku, announced this week that Kosovo might impose a ban on goods from Serbia and Bosnia, the only ex-Yugoslav states that have not recognized Kosovo’s independence. Following on that Kosovo’s Chamber of Commerce on Monday has warned Kosovar companies to prepare for such developments.

Officials in Prishtina said the move was retaliatory as Serbia and Bosnia stopped the importation and transit of goods from Kosovo from December 3, as the necessary paperwork was no longer approved by the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

“If Serbia and Bosnia continue with such a practice, then Kosovo institutions will be forced to take reciprocal measures to impose a ban on the import of goods made in Serbia and Bosnia,” it said in a statement of KCC.
Since its independence declaration in February 2008 Kosovo has been recognized by more than 50 countries including the United States and most of the 27-nation European Union.

The move was fiercely opposed by Serbia while Bosnia, which was divided after its 1990s war into two semi-autonomous entities, needs the approval of its Serb entity of Republika Srpska to recognize Kosovo’s statehood.
Serbia’s current exports to Kosovo amount at around 300m euro, while the value of Kosovar exports to Serbia are less than 30m euro.

ECIKS / Source: Agence France-Presse English Wire