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Kosovo and Serbia in Brussels discuss the dinar

2024-02-27 08:49:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Kosovo and Serbia in Brussels discuss the dinar

Under the mediation of the European Union, meetings will be held in Brussels on Tuesday as part of the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, with the aim of finding a solution regarding the use of the Serbian dinar.

A regulation of the Central Bank of Kosovo (CBK), which entered into force on February 1, foresees the euro as the only currency for making cash payments in Kosovo, prohibiting the use of the Serbian dinar.

This decision, according to the EU, has caused practical problems for the Serbian community in Kosovo, who used the Serbian dinar and with this currency received help from Serbia. Therefore, the EU has called a meeting on February 27 to find a solution to this issue.

The meetings in Brussels start in the morning and according to diplomatic sources, the EU envoy for the dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, will first meet with the delegation of Serbia, then with that of Kosovo. According to the practice from the past, after the separate meetings that Lajçak will hold with the parties, tripartite meetings will also be held.

Although the EU announced a day ago that both sides have confirmed their participation, in these meetings it seems that the composition of the delegations will be different from the past. While Serbia will be represented in the meetings by its chief negotiator for dialogue, Petar Petkovic, from Kosovo, the governor of the CBK, Ahmet Ismaili, will participate in the meetings in Brussels.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Besnik Bislimi, who is also the chief negotiator for the dialogue with Serbia, did not agree that the issue of the Serbian dinar should be part of the dialogue. This, as the Government of Kosovo considers this to be an internal matter for which the CBK has independent powers.

Last week, Bislimi criticized the EU's special envoy for dialogue, Miroslav Lajçak, for placing this topic on the agenda of the meetings in Brussels, without Kosovo's prior agreement. According to the chief Kosovar negotiator, Lajcak in this way violated the principles of dialogue established by himself, according to which, no topic can be placed on the agenda without the prior agreement of Kosovo and Serbia.

However, the EU has responded that the bloc is committed to finding a solution to the problem, which, according to Brussels, was "caused by Kosovo with a unilateral decision and without consultation with partners, nor with the community, which has direct consequences from this decision". According to the EU, the dialogue is the forum where a solution should be found for all open issues between the parties, and this has been said by the member countries, as well as other international partners. The spokeswoman of the EU for foreign affairs, Nabila Massrali, said the day before that Tuesday's meeting will be "in the usual dialogue format" and it will be discussed "to find solutions".

"Tomorrow's meeting [Tuesday] is a dialogue meeting that will focus on the solutions of open issues related to the recent decisions on currency circulation by the CBK", she said.

CBK told Radio Free Europe that they are ready to meet with representatives of the People's Bank of Serbia to facilitate the transfer of money through banking channels.

"In this sense, [CBK] also responds to invitations when they are necessary, for such informative meetings, as it has continuously done with the international presence in the country", it was said in the CBK's response sent to REL- it. The Serbian state allocates millions of euros to Serbs in Kosovo after paying them in dinars - through a parallel system - salaries, pensions and additional assistance.

The authorities in Kosovo have said that the CBK regulation for cash operations will be implemented through an easy transition, no longer than three months, while Prime Minister Albin Kurti has insisted that the decision will not be reversed. The United States, meanwhile, has asked Kosovo to postpone the implementation of the CBK decision, as they have argued that it was taken without prior consultation and without having as a basis the negative impacts on the Serbian population in Kosovo./ Rel

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