Regional meeting within the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), held in Albanian coastal town of Vlore on Friday, was interrupted after an incident involving Kosovo’s representatives, which Serbia’s officials assessed as ”chauvinistic”, according to Serbian media.
Reportedly, the meeting was going as usual until Pristina representatives accused Serbia of introducing non-customs barriers towards Kosovo, inflicting in that way huge damage to Kosovo’s trade and development in general. This sparked reaction of Ivan Markovic, the chief of Serbia’s delegation, who said he asked the meeting chairperson not to allow such provocations within a CEFTA meeting and who added that Kosovo is a part of Serbia.
According to Markovic, his words led someone in Kosovo’s delegation to throw a bottle on him.
”That’s not an expression of power and supremacy but it speaks about strong anxiety among them because they thought they finished everything in 2008,” said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, commenting on the incident.
Throwing a bottle on someone is the ”most primitive” way to show someone has lost their temper, he stressed, adding that the two sides will sooner or later have to get back to talks and that this would happen once the import tariffs are annulled.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which still disputes this decision. Also, the EU-mediated talks on the normalisation of relations between Pristina and Belgrade have been in a deadlock since last November, when Kosovo introduced 100 percent tariffs for the goods imported from Serbia.
Head of Serbian Government’s Office for Kosovo, Marko Djuric, said this was a ”chauvinistic incident”.
”This happens when you allow a chauvinistic political elite the access to international organisations,” Djuric told Pink TV.
He recalled that Serbia managed to prevent membership of Pristina’s authorities in nine ”crucial” international organisations.