US to Withdraw Troops from Kosovo unless Pristina Abolishes Customs Duties
Kosovo's Gazette Express reports that the United States is considering withdrawing its troops from Kosovo if Pristina does not remove customs duties on goods from Serbia.
According to the newspaper, US Ambassador to Pristina Philip Kosnett told Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti that his country is considering a similar option, which according to Gazeta is the most serious threat from the US to Kosovo so far.
"The US Embassy in Pristina has told Kurti that the presence of US forces in Kosovo is already under consideration," the source told Gazeta Express.
It is at the most serious warning the United States has made to Kosovo since the US deployed its troops here in 1999.
The situation deteriorated after in November 2018 former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj introduced tariffs on Serbian imports, the newspaper reported.
The newspaper recalls that Albin Kurti and Kosovo Parliament Speaker Vjosa Osmani, as candidates in the October 6th elections, have pledged to eliminate tariffs and replace them with wide-ranging reciprocity measures with Serbia, but have not yet taken that direction.
US President Donald Trump's envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Ambassador Richard Grenell, is adamant that duties should be lifted immediately to resume dialogue.