Kosovo Boycotts CEFTA Meeting

Kosovo will not participate in a meeting of Central European Free Trade Agreement, CEFTA, countries being held Wednesday in Budva, Montenegro, because of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s ongoing boycott of the country’s products.

Since Kosovo’s declaration of independence, customs stamps have been modified to read the Republic of Kosovo instead of UNMIK, which triggered Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to boycott the country’s products because of their decisions to not recognise Kosovo’s independence. 

Kosovo’s ministry of trade and industry say the boycott goes against CEFTA provisions.

“At the CEFTA secretariat meeting, Kosovo’s government delegation will not participate until Kosovar products are accepted by Serbia, and until Serbia removes the barriers it has installed on our products,” said Fatos Sahiti, political adviser to the minister of trade and industry.

Kosovo’s absence at the meeting will also have repercussions for other CEFTA members too, since resolutions will not be able to be passed without a consensus.

CEFTA’s invitation for the meeting was also addressed to UNMIK, instead of the Republic of Kosovo, and was sent to the UN building instead of the ministry of trade and industry, also stirring irritation.

Kosovo signed the Central European Free Trade Agreement, CEFTA, a trade agreement between non-EU countries, on May 1, 2007. But since the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, UNMIK was still administering the provisional government in the country at this time, it signed the agreement on behalf of the country.

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