Concern is growing in Kosovo that the US may pull its troops out in retaliation for tariffs imposed by Pristina on goods from Serbia. Some politicians have called for the tariffs to be lifted rather than jeopardize the relationship with Washington, where senators have threatened to push for a withdrawal.
Kosovo introduced the tariffs in November 2018 after Serbia blocked the breakaway province’s membership in international organizations, including Interpol and UNESCO. In response, Belgrade quit a dialogue with Pristina.
The EU and the US, both of which still have peacekeeping troops in Kosovo, kept pressure on its new government to remove taxes to continue the dialogue. US envoy Richard Grenell has warned the Kosovo government that it will face consequences if it does not remove the tariffs, Reuters said.
Senator Rand Paul tweeted: “I encourage Kosovo to turn a page, and work with Serbia for a lasting peace. Time to bring our troops home after so many years over there.” About 700 US troops are stationed in Kosovo.