"Novosti" reports that the US has a new strategy for disciplining the government in Pristina that persistently refuses to abolish fees.
SOURCE: NOVOSTI ONLINE FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2020 | 09:17
If Washington's threats of denying economic aid and withdrawing US troops from Kosovo and Metohija do not discipline the prime minister of interim Pristina institutions, Albin Kurti, and in case he does not suspend tariffs, it is not excluded that the United States will pull another trump card - a change of government in Pristina.
In an otherwise loose Kurti's ruling majority, his most important partner, Isa Mustafa's Democratic League of Kosovo (PDK) has been threatening to deny him support for days if he does not conditionally withdraw tariffs on all goods from central Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In a political calculation that could be pushed by the US, a new majority would be made by Mustafa's PDK (28 MPs), Kadri Veseli's Democratic Party of Kosovo, that is to say, Hashim Thaci (24 MPs), Fatmir Limaj's Social Democratic Initiative (4 MPs) and Bedghjet Pacolli's Alliance for the New Kosovo (2 MPs). The required majority of the 61, out of the 120 MPs the Pristina parliament is composed of, in this case would be secured from the parliamentary "reservoir" of minority communities, excluding the Serb List.
The "war" between Albanian leaders in Pristina over fees and relations with the United States has particularly culminated with the return of Hashim Thaci, the President of the interim institutions in Kosovo, from the United States. He sharply criticizes Kurti for his stubborn policy of seriously risking that their main patron turns back on their independence of the false state, that is, as Thaci says, he's committment to "destroying historic alliances".
The leader of the Self-Determination, apparently encouraged by the support of one of the leading EU countries with a different approach to solving the Kosovo problem than the White House, accused Thaci of being anti-European and participating in the "secret agreement between Serbia and Kosovo".
To Thaci's message that "the United States has finally taken over the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia," officials from Brussles reiterate somewhat angrily that "the EU remains the only mediator in charge of organizing Belgrade-Pristina negotiations." However, for the time being, Brussels does not offer a concrete solution to the deadlock in which dialogue has fallen due to Pristina's unilateral moves, that is, the introduction of tariffs.
Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic reiterated Thursday that "abolishing fees is a key precondition for the resumption of dialogue":
"Also, Pristina's decisions to form a so-called Defense Ministry and transform 'Kosovo security forces' into an armed formation are unacceptable to us, as they not only harm the dialogue process, but can also affect the destabilization of the region."
Borrell seeks urgent abolition of tariffs
Head of European Diplomacy, Josep Borrell, told Kurti that the continuation of the dialogue was necessary and urgent and required a complete abolition of fees. In a letter to Kurti, Borrell says he expects Belgrade to contribute to the rebuilding of the process as well. He recalled that he had earlier supported Kurti's intention to gradually abolish fees as a good first step, but now points out:
"We need full abolition of fees."