Representatives of the Serb municipalities in Kosovo failed to reach an agreement about the road blocks in northern Kosovo. To make matters worse, Kosovo-Albanian customs inspectors have just started searching shops for Serbian goods.
The joint meeting of representatives of Serb municipalities in northern Kosovo in Leposavic on 9 August was did not take place because the representatives of Zubin Potok did not appear. It was agreed that each municipality should revise the interim agreement regarding the road blocks individually.
Leposavic municipal president Slavko Stevanovic said that municipal assembly speakers from northern Kosovo agreed to postpone the meeting because formal and legal conditions for staging the sitting have not been met as Zubin Potok representatives failed to appear. No new date for the talks was announced.
The agreement was reached between representatives of North Kosovo and Serbian President Boris Tadic on 8 August and is seen as crucial to keep peace and stability in the region.
The head of the Belgrade negotiating team Borislav Stefanovic expects that the dialogue with Pristina to be continued in Brussels on 5 September where the issue of the Kosovo customs stamps will be discussed that started the recent crisis.
Meanwhile, Kosovo prime minister Hasim Thaci ordered market inspectors to check shops in search for Serbian products today (9 August). The inspectors are looking for goods that have been brought into Kosovo during the import ban from Serbia. The action is set to last during the whole of August and will certainly not contribute to calm the tensions.
Chief market inspector Ruzdi Sehu presented the action plan for market monitoring after the introduction of the reciprocity measures in trade with Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. These are the additional measures announced by Kosovo Minister of Trade and Industry Mimoza Kusari Ljilja. If any products imported after the import ban was announced are found in a shop, they confiscated, Sehu said.
In Serbia, domestic politics is also effected by the Kosovo crisis: opposition leader and former Prime Minister Voislav Kostunica blamed the Serbian Government that via the agreement reached with KFOR, it legalized the unilateral action of the Albanian separatists in taking control over the border crossings in North Kosovo. According to the Serbian opposition, this act is a clandestine recognition of Kosovo.
Image: Mariela Zamfirova (JB Photography)
(Sources: Vesti Online, Middle East & Balkans News; 9 August 2011)